01/14/2013 02:29 pm ET Updated May 07, 2013

'South Park' Creators To Form Their Own Production Studio Called Important Studios

'South Park' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will form their own production studio using a combination of revenue from "South Park," "Book of Mormon" and $60 million in investment capital from boutique investment firm The Raine Group.

The New York Times reports that initially Parker and Stone hoped to get money through a hedge fund but "hit it off" with Raine Group founder Joe Ravitch after being introduced by Ariel Z. Emanuel of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.

William Morris Endeavor represents Parker and Stone and is also an investor in The Raine Group, The Hollywood Reporter notes.

"We're thrilled to be along for the ride in letting them work with themselves, because so far that's worked out very well for them," Raine Group co-founder Jeff Sine told The Huffington Post over the phone. "We believe their greatest achievements are still to come."

The new studio, which will be called Important Studios, will consolidate Parker and Stone's "creative work and future projects into one company," according to a press release published by Deadline on Monday.

The new production company gives Parker and Stone greater freedom to create what they want without having to be at the mercy of a large corporate studio.

"We hope to work with ourselves for a long time and are excited to now work with ourselves in a much greater capacity," Parker and Stone said, according to a press release.

While the press statement is vague regarding the specific projects the duo will undertake, the Times reports one of the first things the new studio will likely produce is a movie version of "Book of Mormon."

The formation of Important Studios is a key development for the creation of a "Book of Mormon" movie, which until now has been based on little more than rumor. Before today, the latest developments for the potential movie came from Philippe Dauman, the CEO of Viacom, the company that owns Comedy Central, who hinted in December that a "Book of Mormon" movie was a possibility.

Stone has said he would direct the movie if one was made, but Variety points out that no timeline has ever been publicly discussed.

The Raine Group is an investment bank that focuses on digital media and entertainment companies. It was founded in 2009 by two former Wall Street bankers, Joe Ravitch and Jeff Sine.

Read the full story in The New York Times.



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