Warner Bros, RatPac Acquire New Harlan Coben Mystery Novel ‘Missing You’

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 11:05am PDT
Mike Fleming

missingyouEXCLUSIVE: On the eve of its publication, Harlan Coben‘s new mystery novel Missing You has been acquired in a preemptive screen rights deal by Warner Bros and RatPac Entertainment. The book is published tomorrow by Dutton. For RatPac, Brett Ratner will produce and John Cheng and James Packer will be exec producers.

coben__120122180321In Coben’s latest, a New York City Police Department detective named Kat Donovan is exploring a dating website and discovers the profile and photo of the ex-fiance who dumped her 18 years ago. She soon she begins to unravel an intricate catfish scheme led by a brilliant and calculating killer. Coben, whose page-turners get better and better and whose last six novels debuted atop The New York Times Bestseller list, seems poised to finally pop on the big screen. Besides Missing You, his novel Tell No One is being adapted by Argo scribe Chris Terrio for Universal and director Gavin O’Connor; Six Years is at Paramount with Mark Gordon producing and Hugh Jackman attached to star, with Jonathan Stokes adapting. Coben made a deal with Lawrence Kasdan directly to team on the Coben novel Stay Close, until that process slowed when Kasdan got the call to return to draft the new Star Wars movie for J.J. Abrams to direct.

Missing You was brought in Chantal Nong, the first major project for her since being minted VP Production. … Read More »

Comments (8)

Martin Sheen Joins Cast Of Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes Movie

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 4:13pm PST

martin-sheen-and-warren-beatty-large-picture-80238741EXCLUSIVE: Martin Sheen has joined the cast of Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes project, the script of which is being kept tightly under wraps. Sheen and Beatty are old friends but this is the first time they’ve worked together. Sheen, who will next be seen opposite Rooney Mara in Stephen Daldry’s Trash, been on and off the set for director Beatty, who is also producing and plays Howard Hughes. The story centers Hughes’ assistant (played by Alden Ehrenreich) and his love interest (Lily Collins). The pic, known around town as the untitled Warren Beatty project, also includes Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick.

Related: Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes Pic Finally Takes Flight

The project was funded by billionaires Ron Burkle, Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. It’s a $26.7M negative. Ratner and Beatty are producing with Packer exec producing. Read More »

Comments (14)

Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 4:15pm PST

Before tonight’s Academy Awards, catch up on the top stories you missed this week on Deadline:

Oscar_badgeOscars Finally Here – Record Voting Turnout According To Academy But What Does It All Mean?
By Pete Hammond – The robocalls and emails apparently did the trick as Academy CEO Dawn Hudson reports the 86th Oscar contest is responsible another significant high mark in the Academy’s efforts to turn out the vote.

OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever
By Pete Hammond – With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the most80th Academy Awards NYC Meet the Oscars Opening unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to  muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important. Read More »

Comments (0)

Warren Beatty’s Untitled Howard Hughes Pic Finally Takes Flight Financed By Billionaire Boys’ Club; Ehrenreich, Collins To Star In Love Story; Bening And Broderick Also In

Warren-BeattyjpgEXCLUSIVE: It took two decades, but it’s finally getting off the ground thanks to billionaires Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer’s and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. The heavies have come together to finance Warren Beatty’s long-gestating Howard Hughes-based project. The roughly $26.7M production, which Beatty will direct and star in as Hughes, will revolve around Hughes’ assistant (Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures) and his love interest (Lily Collins, Mirror, Mirror). New Regency, Beatty and Ratner are producing, with Packer executive producing. Regency will handle foreign through Fox. Bing, BurkleThey’ve already shot a small amount of film on the picture, but it starts rolling in earnest today. Beatty’s wife Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick and other surprises are expected (a la Jack Nicholson, maybe? One can only hope). The focus of the film is the love story of the two younger characters. Read More »

Comments 21

Edward Norton Will Helm Passion Project ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ With RatPac Funding

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 2:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

ednoEXCLUSIVE: It may have taken him 15 years to get there, but Edward Norton will star in and direct Motherless Brooklyn, his scripted adaptation inspired by the Jonathan Lethem novel. Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment have stepped up to fully finance the film for a late 2014 production start in New York. Ratner will join Norton and his Class 5 Films’ cohort William Migliore as producers, and Packer will be executive producer with Class 5’s Stuart Blumberg.

motWhile Lethem’s novel is contemporary, Norton has set the story in New York in 1954, a time of great change in the city. He plays Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome, who tries to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend. Armed only with few clues and an obsessive mind, Lionel slowly unravels closely guarded secrets that have major ramifications. It leads him through Harlem jazz clubs, Brooklyn slums and sets him against thugs and Gotham power brokers to honor his friend and save a woman who might his own salvation.

This will be Norton’s second time behind the camera after he made his debut on Keeping The Faith. He set this up at New Line as the book was published, right after Norton got an Oscar nomination there for his mesmerizing performance in American History X. Norton currently stars in the Wes Anderson-directed The Grand Budapest Hotel, and most recently wrapped the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed comedy Birdman, both for Fox Searchlight. He’s repped by UTA and attorney Robert Offer. Read More »

Comments (10)

Darren Aronofsky Makes New Regency His Film Home; Will Hatch TV Projects For HBO

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 10:15am PST
Mike Fleming

aronEXCLUSIVE: Fresh from completing the Biblical epic Noah with Russell Crowe, Darren Aronofsky has set his Protozoa Pictures to new three-year first look deals to develop film and TV projects. Aronofsky has made a feature deal with New Regency, which backed his film The Fountain as well as Noah. Aronofsky has set his first ever TV deal with HBO, where Protozoa will develop material for Aronofsky to direct and for the company to produce.

new-regency-logoNoah, which New Regency made in partnership with Paramount Pictures, will be released March 28. This marks the second major talent deal made by Arnon Milchan’s financier/production company under Brad Weston, after Brad Pitt last month moved his Plan B producing banner from Paramount and into a 3-year deal hbo45with New Regency (which co-financed Plan B’s 12 Years A Slave) and RatPac partners James Packer and Brett Ratner. Noah was Aronofsky’s first film since he helmed the sleeper blockbuster Black Swan. The deal was confirmed for Deadline and Aronofsky issued this statement: Read More »

Comments (9)

Year-End: Hollywood Film Biz Still Cautious, But Slow Boat To China Speeding Up After Busy & Edifying 2013

By | Thursday, 2 January 2014 19:41 UK

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819While Hollywood continues figuring out how to do business in China, China-And-Hollywood__130605112955-150x150__130925193515and execs remain cautious, there is a sense that 2013 was a tipping point in the complex relationship between the world’s two box office leaders. As Hollywood’s focus turns to maximizing global grosses, the town is increasingly looking for ways to cozy up to the territory that adds 10 theaters a day to service its 1.3B+ population. And China is also strongly courting Hollywood. In September, Wanda’s Wang Jianlin unveiled ambitious plans to bring the industry closer to the Mainland and emphasized China’s place at the center of the global biz, urging players to cooperate for a piece of the pie. Then, at November’s U.S./China Film Summit in L.A., China Film Co-Production Company’s Zhang Xun offered, “We have a huge market and we want to share it with you.” Here’s a look at some of the key happenings in China in 2013 and a taste of what to look out for in the coming year:

Related: China’s Wanda & Hollywood: How Much Is Real? How Much Is Real Estate?
China Box Office Hits $3B+: Hollywood Improves While Local Films Dominate; What Does End Of 2013 Hold In Store?
Read More »

Comments (1)

Year-End: How A Growing Global Mandate And Franchise Fever Led To Movie Studio Tsuris

Mike Fleming

Considering that global movie ticket sales reached precedent levels after a particularly robust holiday period and a hollywood-signmostly sizzling summer, 2013 was one of the most turbulent years I can remember in the executive suites of major studios. Studios were overhauled all over town to better compete in an arena that is more of a global pursuit than ever, with victory belonging to whoever can build and maintain the most franchises.

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819Purists will decry the fact that Hollywood’s brightest minds are mostly focused on repackaging derivative concepts for maximum global grosses, but evidence of the rewards are right there in the gross charts: Six of the top seven biggest films were sequels that provided the kind of results that keep studio conglomerate parents happy, keep studio chiefs employed, and slate co-financiers coming back for more. Sure, studios will still get involved with awards-season prestige films like The Wolf Of Wall Street, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave, but often only when someone else pays to make them. This franchise fever pushed costs of blockbusters to ridiculously high levels, and left top execs and producers explaining, and sometimes packing, when some badly misfired. Add that to internal power struggles at places like Universal and Warner Bros, and you needed a scorecard to keep up with the executive changes — which came fast and furious, especially after the brutal summer blockbuster season. Among them:

Related: Leonardo DiCaprio On Creating Fact-Based Black Comedy Without Glorifying Crooks

Universal Pictures logo 2013*Universal fired film chairman Adam Fogelson in a move that surprised him along with everyone else in town but Ron Meyer and Donna Langley, with whom he engaged in a quiet power struggle. Fogelson was blindsided by the result, coming hours after he presided over the Toronto premiere of Rush. The Comcast-orchestrated move that put Jeff Shell in charge of filmed entertainment after he did well running NBCUniversal’s international operations. Meyer was upped to vice chairman of NBCUniversal and Langley as sole Universal Films chairman and picture picker. Even though the studio placed third in market share and Despicable Me 2 could become the studio’s biggest-ever box office hit when it plays in China, Universal also flubbed franchise launch attempts like R.I.P.D. and 47 Ronin, and Kick-Ass 2 proved that once was enough. Universal has sequels to Fast & Furious 6Jurassic Park, The Mummy and Ted coming, and a new salty adult franchise in Fifty Shades Of Grey for 2015. Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures moved in to hatch pictures and co-fi Universal titles like Jurassic World, hedging the studio’s bets as it moves forward. Langley’s biggest challenge has been retooling the studio’s most lucrative franchise, Fast & Furious, which was halfway completed when star Paul Walker died tragically in a fiery car crash. Right after Fogelson was ousted, longtime Focus Features chief James Schamus was dismissed just as suddenly. He was replaced by Peter Schlessel, the whip-smart former Sony dealmaker who’d been running FilmDistrict and who clearly will be charged with broadening the highbrow Focus slate to include more low-risk high-return genre films like the FilmDistrict hit Insidious. Schamus’s co-chairman, Andrew Karpen, declined to relocate and stay on, dramatically changing the complexion of that prestige company.

Related: Why ‘Fifty Shades’ Date Move Makes Sense

warnerbros_logo__131127025856-275x209*The final shoe dropped after Warner Bros gave the top job to Kevin Tsujihara instead of Warner Bros movie chief Jeff Robinov. At a time when Robinov should have been taking victory laps after his bets on filmmakers paid off so well with Ben Affleck’s Argo, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, Robinov instead left in a frosty exit to form his own moneyed film venture. This, and the equally tempestuous exit of Legendary’s Tull after a lucrative franchise-fueled run, left Robinov’s successors Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll under big pressure to assert themselves to find new franchises. The studio re-upped Village Roadshow Pictures and replaced Legendary with James Packer, Brett Ratner and Steven Mnuchin’s RatPac Dune in a slate co-financing deal that will spread $450 million or more over 75 films. While Warner Bros brass tired of Tull imposing his creative will and cherry-picking Warner Bros titles to co-fi, RatPac Dune will not do that, and I heard the studio was able to exclude certain plum titles from the arrangement. But Warner Bros also gifted RatPac Dune with a co-fi stake in Gravity after it was completed, creating Gravity-ca big windfall for a fledgling venture. It’s ironic given nobody in Hollywood but Robinov seemed to want to make that movie — an expensive auteur effort that has zero sequel potential. One challenge for the new team at Warner Bros: keeping Robinov from peeling away the directors he empowered, from Christopher Nolan to Affleck, Snyder, Luhrmann, The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips and Cuaron to make movies at the new company he and Graham King are expected to launch at Sony. Silverman is respected and Kroll is regarded as arguably the best marketer in town and the studio’s global distribution and marketing operation is as good as there is, but the pressure’s on even though Warner Bros topped other studios in market share. It also has what seems like a strong year with franchise launches in Godzilla and LEGO, another installment of 300 (so what if everybody died in the original?), and a Hobbit finale. Beyond Hobbit, New Line continues to do its part on the franchise front, hatching a Horrible Bosses sequel for 2014 and gearing up another installment of its sleeper 2013 road trip comedy We’re The Millers.

Related: OSCARS Q&A: Alfonso Cuaron On ‘Gravity’

Sony-Pictures-logo__130125035333-200x312 (1)*After two costly summer misfires in After Earth and White House Down,  a lackluster Smurfs sequel that fizzled the franchise, and disappointing returns on the Matt Damon-starrer Elysium, Sony Pictures chairman Amy Pascal found herself  in the cross-hairs of minority activist shareholder Daniel Loeb. The result: seismic changes in its executive structure and game plan moving forward. The studio dropped marketing head Marc Weinstock, corporate PR chief Steve Elzer and home entertainment chief David Bishop, and then added former New Line president-turned Fifty Shades Of Grey producer Michael De Luca to share president of production duties with Hannah Minghella. The studio vowed heading into its fall investor meetings that it would cut $250 million in costs through 2016, and make fewer movies in 2014 and  pour the money into TV. I keep hearing that was temporary window dressing, and after adding former Fox chief Tom Rothman to revive TriStar, which creates another buyer on a lot full of them, Sony will continue to try and create sony_amazing_spiderman_DF-06775_rV7franchises to go along with its Spider-Man and 007 stalwarts. Sony secured a big slate co-fi investment from John LaViolette and Joseph Singer’s Blue Anchor that begins with George Clooney’s The Monuments Men. And then there is the prospect of the venture by Robinov/King which would give Sony huge movies to release and gain market share and bragging rights, without actually having to fund them if they don’t want to. If 22 Jump Street and especially The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit as well as is hoped, some of that pressure could be alleviated as the studio presses ahead with reboots of past franchise successes Ghostbusters and Men In Black.

Related: Hot Teaser: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Read More »

Comments 20

Brad Pitt’s Plan B Move Unveiled: Moving To Deal With New Regency And RatPac Partners James Packer And Brett Ratner

pitttEXCLUSIVE: So, what is happening with Paramount and Plan B, the production shingle run by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner? We can report definitively that the company is moving to a new 3-year pact with New Regency and RatPac partners James Packer and Brett Ratner. This new marriage, which starts when the Plan B deal at Paramount expires at month’s end, comes after New Regency co-financed the Oscar contender 12 Years A Slave, and they are in postproduction on True Story, the film directed by Rupert Goold, with  James Franco and Jonah Hill starring. Plan B has five projects percolating at New Regency, Arnon Milchan has a strong relationship with Pitt that goes all the way back to Fight Club, and Weston has a strong relationship with Pitt and Gardner from the New Regency business and when Weston ran production at Paramount. Those projects include Black Hole, The Operators and Big Bucks.

Related: 2014 Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Up For Best Feature

slaveWe’re told that this move is not acrimonious and that the relationship is fine between the Brads, as in Brad Pitt and Paramount chief Brad Grey. In fact, they completed their biggest film, World War Z — it was the highest-grossing film in Pitt’s career, though it’s unclear how profitable it was because of the high cost of re-shooting — and they are starting progress on a sequel that Juan Antonio Bayona directing. But the feeling was the Plan B label fit better with New Regency after the collaboration on 12 Years A Slave and so many other projects.

Related: Paramount Moving Forward On ‘World War Z’ Sequel

The move happens shortly after Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer took residence at Paramount in a first-look deal he moves to from Disney. He joins Lorenzo di Bonaventura and David Ellison’s Skydance and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot at the studio. Paramount doesn’t make a ton of movies, and a lot of Plan B’s projects languished. There should be more opportunity to get movies made in this deal, where Regency and RatPac go 50/50 on Plan B-developed projects. New Regency had a distribution deal with Fox. The way it works is, New Regency and RatPac finance future films from Plan B, and RatPac has the opportunity to co-finance the projects that Plan B currently has with New Regency.

New Regency sees this as a coup, a next step for a financier/producer establishing itself with tastemaker fare. Read More »

Comments 22

How Sony Pictures Answered Critics Going Into Thursday Investor Meeting With Cuts, Jeff Robinov Courtship, Blue Anchor Co-Fi

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 6:35pm PST
Mike Fleming

Oscar season is in full swing and is dominating attention, but the most important discussions taking place in town are being done with bankers in back rooms as heavyweight producers and co-financiers move around and will dramatically shape the future of studio event film slates for years to come. The players in the drama still to formalize landing places are Jeff Robinov and Graham King, Jerry Bruckheimer, John LaViolette and Joseph M. Singer’s Blue Anchor Entertainment. This after Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures left Warner Bros for Universal, and was replaced by Brett Ratner, James Packer and Steve Mnuchin’s RatPac Dune, which will co-finance the slates of Warner Bros going forward. Two of the next big moves seem to squarely involve Sony Pictures, whose heads Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal head into investor meetings on the Sony lot in Culver City on Thursday with some pending alliances that will greatly reshape their operations.

Related: Sony Hires Consultant To Find $100M In Showbiz Cost Cuts

The above players will be dealing in billions of dollars of production financing. RatPac Dune’s Ratner, Packer and Mnuchin fell into a right-place-at-the-right time windfall just as its Warner Bros deal commenced, and got kissed into Gravity as its first film. That put the venture off to a flying start as the film crossed the $500 million worldwide gross mark. I hear that Tull and Legendary might well get that deal underway in high style by co-financing Universal’s surefire blockbuster Jurassic World, though studio insiders said I’m getting ahead of myself because there is not yet a shooting script to show Legendary. While the RatPac Dune deal covers Warner Bros’ full slate, Tull gets to cherry-pick the films Legendary will co-finance, and the deal calls for a big Universal commitment on films that Legendary generates. This deal was papered by Uni president Jimmy Horowitz and chased aggressively by NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke as well as Donna Langley.

Related:
Sony Pictures Latest Studio Closing Big Co-Financing Film Deal

For Jerry Bruckheimer, Is Next Stop Paramount Or Warner Bros?

Read More »

Comments (10)

RatPac, Running Press To Publish Ben Mezrich Book ‘Seven Wonders’

By | Tuesday October 29, 2013 @ 7:02am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Press entered into a joint venture to publish Ben Mezrich’s Seven Wonders through Running Press Publishers next spring. Deadline told you back in May that Ratner and Packer set the movie rights at Fox, back when the book was a proposal. It was the first deal Ratner and Packer made since forming their company. Written by Mezrich, whose books helped in form the films The Social Network and 21, weaves the Seven Wonders into an adventure tale they all hoped would lead to a book and movie trilogy, with the latter being produced by Beau Flynn and Ratner. Here’s the official release about the book deal:

Related: New Regency, RatPac To Co-Finance Cameron Crowe’s Sony Film
Read More »

Comments (1)

Olga Kurylenko To Co-Star In Russell Crowe’s Directorial Debut ‘The Water Diviner’

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 8:29am PDT

Olga Kurylenko has been cast opposite Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner, which will be Crowe’s helming debut. The story, which takes place four years after the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I, centers on Australian farmer Connor (Crowe), who travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, reported missing in action. He forges a relationship with the beautiful Turkish woman (Kurylenko) who owns the hotel he stays in. Andrew Mason and Troy Lum of Hopscotch Features and Keith Rodger of Crowe’s Fear of God Films are producing the pic, written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastassios. Its a RatPac Entertainment film and is executive produced by Brett Ratner and James Packer. Kurylenko, whose recent credits include Oblivion, Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder and Starz’s recently ended mob drama Magic City, just finished filming Vampire Academy and November Man opposite Pierce Brosnan. She will start work on Water Diviner when it begins shooting in Australia on December 2, then move on to Momentum opposite Vincent Cassel and Shea Whigham early next year. Kurylenko is repped by CAA and Tavistock Wood.

Comments (1)

New Regency, RatPac Step Up To Co-Finance Cameron Crowe’s Sony Film

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 3:16pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: New Regency has become a co-financier on the untitled film that Cameron Crowe is directing for Sony Pictures, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray. Regency will share its 50% investment with RatPac, the company launched by James Packer and Brett Ratner that just recently teamed with Dune Entertainment for a $450 million slate financing deal with Warner Bros. That deal got off to a strong start as the studio brought them in on Gravity.

Crowe wrote the script and is producing the untitled film with Scott Rudin. They have been low key on the log line, but the film has romance and comedy and is said to in the spirit of past Crowe pics Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. The film will be released domestically by Sony Pictures, and Fox International will release it overseas. New Regency principal Arnon Milchan had a long history with Kerry Packer, which made for an easy match with his son, RatPac partner James Packer.

Read More »

Comments (3)

Between ‘Hercules’ Set-Ups, Brett Ratner Becomes Media Mogul With Eye On China

Mike Fleming

Brett Ratner took a few minutes away from directing Dwayne Johnson in the MGM/Paramount film Hercules: The Thracian Wars to talk about being in the center of a herculean $450 million slate financing deal that RatPac-Dune Entertainment finally closed with Warner Bros. It is an arrangement that will cover as many as 75 of the biggest films made by Warner Bros and New Line for the next few years.

Ratner tells me that this is a straight financing deal, but one that will allow and his RatPac-Dune partners James Packer and Steven Mnuchin to build library assets. It is just one piece of what could become a very interesting puzzle. Ratner said that Packer, son of the late media mogul Kerry Packer, got out of the media holdings that were his father’s preoccupation and instead has put his money in a number of ventures that include casinos in Macau. That whetted his appetite for investing in China’s fast-growing film business.

Related: China’s Wanda & Hollywood: How Much Is Real?

“Part of our strategy will be to expand into China, to co-finance Chinese movies and films that not only work around the world but Asia in particular,” Rather told me. “We are already developing some movies we feel will work in the Asian market.” Read More »

Comments (6)

Warner Bros Sets RatPac-Dune To Co-Finance Slates After Legendary Exit

Mike Fleming

As Deadline reported in the summer, Warner Bros Pictures has found its replacement to fill the void left when Thomas Tull moved Legendary Pictures down the road to Universal. RatPac-Dune Entertainment has made a multi-year agreement to co-finance as many as 75 upcoming titles at up to $450 million. The announcement was made today by Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara and by Steven Mnuchin, Brett Ratner and James Packer of RatPac-Dune Entertainment, the film finance vehicle formed by Mnuchin and RatPac Entertainment to co-finance the Warner Bros Pictures slate.

Related:
RatPac Could Be Lead Funder With Dune In Warner Bros Slate Deal
Oz Billionaire James Packer Partners With Brett Ratner On RatPac

The co-fi deal starts with the October 4 release Gravity, and the December 25 release Grudge Match. The studio laid off risk in the past with Village Roadshow Pictures and Legendary.

“We are very pleased to be entering into this relationship with RatPac-Dune Entertainment,” said Tsujihara. “This agreement gives us increased strength and flexibility in the motion picture division and an even greater ability to manage risk as we continue to produce high-quality filmed entertainment for the global audience. We look forward to working with their team as we move forward in this exciting new partnership with a truly great organization.” Read More »

Comments (6)

TOLDJA! Legendary Moves To NBCU With Multiyear Film And TV Deal

As Deadline’s Nikki Finke reported on July 6, Legendary Entertainment has set up a new partnership with NBCUniversal. While nothing formal has been announced, sources say the multiyear film/television financial, distribution, marketing, and production deal will start in 2014. After various meetings over the past few months, the deal was negotiated primarily by Universal prez Jimmy Horowitz, Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Comcast No. 2 Steve Burke. With the split from Warner Bros now complete, Legendary and the studio still have to share a stage down at Comic-Con next week promoting Godzilla and Seventh Son. Legendary and WB also have the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim coming out on Friday; its premiere is tonight in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Warner Bros is working on a $450M-plus slate financing deal with Dune Entertainment that would be majority funded by Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment.
Related:
Universal’s Year-Long Turnaround Shows Movie Business’ Cyclical Nature

Comments 20

UPDATE: Brett Ratner’s RatPac Could Be Lead Funder With Dune In Warner Bros’ Potential $450M-Plus Slate Deal

UPDATE, 1:45 PM: More details are emerging on this possible deal. We’re hearing that RatPac Entertainment, the tie-up of producer-director Brett Ratner and Australian media tycoon James Packer, would be the majority partner in the possible Warner Bros’ slate financing deal that involves Dune Entertainment. We’re told RatPac would contribute 75% to whatever the final total might be should such a deal be struck. Ratner and Packer launched RatPac in December looking to produce and finance independent films and co-finance “blockbusters” with studio partners. Packer is personally backing the film development, production and finance company. “We intend to build a major independent film company which not only has the ability to fully finance its films, but which also offers creative independence for its filmmakers,” Ratner said at the time. We’re also hearing negotiations are moving quickly on the Warners-Dune-RatPac front, and a deal could be announced in two weeks.

PREVIOUS, 12:11 PM: Deadline’s Nikki Finke had already reported that if Legendary Entertainment‘s Thomas Tull did not strike a deal to remain at Warner Bros, the studio would either rely more on its straight financing partner Village Roadshow — or it could take on a slate deal like the one Dune Entertainment had at Fox. Well now it seems that an actual Dune option has moved up on the menu: According to sources, the studio is engaged in negotiations on a big financing deal … Read More »

Comments (16)

Fox Buys Ben Mezrich’s ‘Seven Wonders’ Book; Brett Ratner, Beau Flynn Producing

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox is making a deal for Seven Wonders, a book proposal about the seven wonders of the world that is being eyed as a summer action/adventure film. They hope it will span a trilogy. FlynnPictureCo’s Beau Flynn and RatPac Entertainment’s Brett Ratner are producing. The book’s being written by Ben Mezrich, whose Bringing Down The House was turned into the film 21 and whose Accidental Billionaires was a basis for The Social Network. The book will be published next year. Ratner was an exec producer on 21.

This is the first project for the newly formed RatPac Entertainment – the venture that joined James Packer and Brett Ratner in film finance and production partnership. Ratner and Flynn are right now producing and Ratner is directing Hercules, which stars Dwayne Johnson and starts shooting in June for MGM, with a July 25, 2014 set.

Comments (10)

Oz Billionaire James Packer Partners With Brett Ratner On RatPac Entertainment

James Packer Partners With Brett RatnerAustralian media scion James Packer is getting into the Brett Ratner business. The billionaire will personally back film development, production and finance company, RatPac Entertainment. Ratner and Packer are looking to produce and finance independent films and co-finance “blockbusters” with studio partners. Two projects have been identified to be co-financed, although details have yet to be disclosed. “We intend to build a major independent film company which not only has the ability to fully finance its films, but which also offers creative independence for its filmmakers,” Ratner said in a statement that was short on information. Packer is the chairman of Oz-based gaming and entertainment company Crown Limited. He is the son of the late Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer. In October, his Consolidated Media Holdings voted in favor of a $2.1B takeover bid by News Corp.

Comments (19)
More Deadline | Hollywood »