Mediawan CEO Pierre-Antoine Capton Talks Talent-Driven Strategy, Plan B Acquisition


Pierre-Antoine Capton, the CEO of Mediawan who recently engineered the company’s high profile acquisition of Brad Pitt’s Plan B, said both companies have already started working together on some projects.

“We are working on our first development and co-production projects between Plan B and our French companies, and these are happening organically,” said Capton on stage at the day-long conference organized by French TV and film promotion org Unifrance.

“It’s very interesting for everyone, and producers (from Mediawan) who now have access to Plan B’s teams are raving about the level of standards that a company like Plan B has, being an independent production company which has won the most Oscars with such quality projects,” Capton continued. “We have a lot to learn and I think it will benefit our French ecosystem,” he added.

Launched in 2015 by Capton, tech tycoon Xavier Niel and financier Matthieu Pigasse, Mediawan now owns 60 production labels across 11 countries.

In France, the group is a majority shareholder in some of the country’s most successful outfits, such as Chi-Fou-Mi, whose recent movie “November,” directed by Cedric Jimenez, was the second biggest French language hit in 2022, and Chapter 2, whose two-part saga “The Three Musketeers” will hit theaters this year. Mediawan is also the parent company of ON Kids & Family (“Miraculous”), as well as Mon Voisin Productions and Septembre Productions, which are behind the biggest French scripted TV hits of the last decade, “Call My Agent!” and “HPI.” The banner’s prestige international labels include “Doctor Foster” producer Drama Republic in the U.K., Italy’s Palomar (“Montalbano”) and Boomerang TV (“Ines of my Soul”).

Going forward, Caption said Mediawan will aim to have an even bigger presence globally, in particular in the U.S. through strategic alliances with Brad Pitt and another prominent talent, Florian Zeller, the playwright-turned-filmmaker whose directorial debut “The Father” won two Oscars. Several months before scooping a majority stake in Plan B, Mediawan also struck a deal with Zeller and former CAA executive Federica Sainte-Rose to launch a new L.A.-based production outfit, Blue Morning Pictures. With both deals, Mediawan is buying more than stakes, it’s investing in talents and forming long-term partnerships with them. Under the pact with Plan B, Pitt and his partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner have taken a minority stake in Mediawan.

Capton said one of the major ideas behind this expansion in North America is to allow French filmmakers and producers that are part of Mediawan “to fulfill their ambition and find a larger resonance in the U.S.”

“We want to make sure the next Florian Zellers and next series like ‘Lupin’ will keep their positioning in France and will continue doing so more and more,” Capton added.

The producer said Mediawan’s mandate was inspired by his encounter with Zeller years ago. A leading TV producer through his company Troisieme Oeil, which is now part of Mediawan, Capton reminisced on his experience producing Zeller’s play “The Father,” and seeing the director struggle to finance the English-language movie adaptation in France — even if the play had been a global hit. Eventually, Zeller was able to make the film with British producers who brought the bulk of the financing, along with the French producers (Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassone). Zeller’s follow up, “The Son,” an Oscar contender with Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern, was also produced out of the U.K.

Capton, who is an avid soccer fan, compared the situation between the drain of French film talents and the French soccer league, which comprises of many champions such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Nemar. He said the French soccer league was, like the local film industry, confronted with an “economic problem” provoked by the collapse of a billion-dollar TV deal with Mediapro in 2020.

Citing Vincent Labrune, the president of the French professional soccer league, Capton said those champions were now outgrowing their home market in terms of financial worth.

In the French film and TV sector, Capton said the challenge faced by ambitious content creators was similar because “financing resources are becoming scarcer” in their local market.

“Are the French capable to produce films and series that are worth €200, €300 or €500 million? The answer is yes,” Capton said. “Where are we going to find this money to finance these? Surely from economic partners from plenty of different nationalities.”

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