Walden Media
by Phil Boatwright

Walden Media is making the kind of films that should get Preview and its readers excited: good, wholesome entertainment like Because of Winn-Dixie and - brace yourselves - a live-action film version of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to be released in December 2005. 

Five years ago, Walden Media was founded by two men in their early thirties: film executive Cary Granat and education reformer Michael Flaherty. They were once roommates at Tufts University in Massachusetts and, as students, often visited Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau retreated to contemplate. The two founders joined forces with billionaire businessman Philip Anschutz to launch Walden Media.

Walden Media is committed to producing entertainment that makes a real impact on young audiences, inspiring them to explore the world around them. Through films and educational materials and programs, Walden aims to recapture imagination, rekindle curiosity and demonstrate the rewards of learning.

Walden Media Productions

2003 - Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey, James Cameron’s Ghosts of the Abyss and Holes.

2004 - The Question of God: Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis with Dr. Armand Nicholi, Around the World in 80 Days and I Am David.

2005 - James Cameron’s Aliens of the Deep and Because of Winn-Dixie.

Cary Granat, Chief Executive Officer - Before co-founding Walden Media, Cary Granat was president of Miramax Film’s Dimension label, producing the successful Scream, Scary Movie and Spy Kids movies. Before his five years at Dimension, Granat spent another seven years at other major studios, managing the development and production of films, including the box office hit Babe.

Michael Flaherty, President - Before Walden, Michael Flaherty developed and taught an innovative program to help students from underserved school districts gain acceptance into Boston’s elite exam schools. His work has been praised in such national publications as The Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe, which hailed him as “an entrepreneur in education.”

Philip Anschutz, Money Man - The money behind Walden Media comes from 65-year-old Christian billionaire Philip Anschutz, the 33rd richest American and the 80th richest person in the world, according to Forbes’ 2004 rankings. Anschutz is a private man who does not do interviews or attend entertainment award ceremonies. He produces primarily G and PG rated family films and would never back an R rated movie, said a spokesman. Anschutz is the chairman and owner of Anschutz Co., a firm that owns or has investments in companies in energy, pipelines, railroads (Union Pacific), agriculture, real estate, film production (Walden), movie theaters (Regal), telecommunications (Qwest), sports (Colorado Rapids, LA Kings, LA Lakers), and newspapers (San Francisco Examiner, Washington Examiner). In a Sept. 1999 Fortune article, a friend said that Anschutz “has a latent interest in doing something significant in American Christianity. He is working deliberately and diligently on it.”

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