Thomas Augsberger, the producer, international film consultant, former Lionsgate board member and founder of Eden Rock Media, has died. He was 60.
Augsberger passed away suddenly at his home in the Hollywood Hills on Tuesday, members of his family told The Hollywood Reporter.
The German-born and trained attorney was best known as the long-time consultant and North American representative for Herbert Kloiber‘s German mini-major Tele Muenchen Group (TMG). When Leonine acquired TMG in 2019, Augsberger continued to advise the company on film projects and acquisitions.
Over more than 2 decades, Augsberger acquired hundreds of film and TV projects for the German market from producers, sales agents, and studios, making him one of the most important figures on the independent scene. He helped secure pre-buys of Marvel’s Iron Man, Summit Entertainment’s Twilight and Lionsgate’s John Wick and Hunger Games franchises, including the recent prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, as well as the upcoming John Wick spin-off Ballerina. For the small screen, Augsberger licensed German-speaking rights for such hit series such as Flashpoint, The Night Manager and Anger Management.
Augsberger and Kloiber bonded over their shared love of opera — Augsberger was a trained opera singer — and their passion for a deal. He also oversaw TMG investments in the U.S. including, in 1999, the Munich group’s preferred equity investment in Lionsgate Entertainment and the acquisition of the Mutual Film Library in 2006. He served on the board of Lionsgate from 2002-2004.
“Thomas was wholly unique and a special colleague in our business, so many great memories created during 30 years of friendship,” said Lionsgate’s Joe Drake. “Always thoughtful, articulate, tough and deeply human – that was his super power. No surprise that he is so loved and has so many friends. He will be deeply missed and our hearts are with his family.”
Added former Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment boss Patrick Wachsberger: “I am missing a great friend with the most beautiful singing voice; an amazingly bright colleague. Thomas is irreplaceable. A huge loss for anyone who had the amazing chance of knowing him.”
In 2002, Augsberger founded the production and media consulting business Eden Rock Media. He developed and produced more than 15 independently financed feature films, including the Kevin Costner-starring Mr. Brooks, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and Solace, starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Abbie Cornish.
“I am devastated. Thomas was a one-of-a-kind character – one you do not find anymore today – and most of all a friend,” said Leonine’s Fred Kogel. “My thoughts are with his family, that they will get through this horrible loss.”
In addition to Eden Rock, Augsberger was a founding partner of Filmaka, BestEverChannels, and Liquid Light. He also served on the boards of BEC, Liquid Light, and the U.S. PVOD and sell-through platform ROW8. Most recently, Augsberger executive produced the TV series The Professionals, starring Brendan Fraser and Tom Welling, and Spy City with Dominic Cooper.
“Knowing Thomas for the better part of 30 years I’ve never stopped admiring his enthusiasm for life and his essential optimism. Truly one of the most affable, gregarious and surprising people you will ever meet,” said Toby Emmerich, an executive producer on Barbie and a long-time friend. “I knew him best as a friend, a passionate film producer, and a deeply loving and engaged husband and father. And on the surprising front, an opera singer, former male model, and a shockingly quick and agile tennis and soccer player! [Thomas] will be missed by all who knew him.”
Noted Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn, another longtime friend: “There are people you rarely hear about that are as responsible for films as any director, writer, or star. People like Thomas Augsberger – a smart, sunny, and relentless force of nature who willed so many films into existence. He was a great lawyer, producer, athlete, opera singer, and most of all, husband and father. It pains me to know that I won’t hear that deep baritone again, I will miss him terribly.”
Augsberger is survived by his wife, Jana, daughters Tessa Lili and Helena Lucia; and son Nicholas Alfred.