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EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver Going Indie And Making 12-Film Distribution Deal With Universal For Post-Warner Bros Producing

EXCLUSIVE: Well, that didn’t take long. Six weeks after I scooped the news that Joel Silver and Warner Bros agreed to sever their 25-year relationship by the end of the year, the producer has plans to set up shop as an indie filmmaker. And just as I toldja, he’s landed at Universal. This is by no means the ful-frills first-look producing deal he’s had. I’m told that Universal was never interested in a first-look production deal with Silver. His close pal and travel buddy Ron Meyer’s daughter is an executive at Silver Pictures and, because of those relationships, Uni President/COO Meyer supposedly took himself out of the decision-making process. Instead, Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson with Co-Chairman Donna Langley did the deal. Details are still sketchy, But I hear it calls for five years of domestic distribution of product from a new division of Silver Pictures which is going to be called Silver Pictures Entertainment. The 12-film agreement which will be announced soon calls for Universal to distribute 2 to 3 films annually from Silver Pictures Entertainment across multiple genres. Universal will pay for marketing, with a backstop so that Silver is on the hook if the pics don’t earn out. I understand that Silver will have to find financing though Universal may choose to finance certain films but is under no obligation to do so. The first project under the deal will be action thriller Non-Stop which reteams directed Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson who worked on 2011′s Unknown together for Silver’s Dark Castle where Collet-Serra also helmed Orphan (2009) and House Of Wax (2005). Non-Stop is not yet in production and is slated for a 2013 release.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver And Warner Bros Pictures Severing 25-Year Relationship

Speaking of Dark Castle, I’ve learned that Universal is interested in distributing that product. But Dark Castle’s slate of movies remain at Warner Bros for distribution through 2013. And after that Silver can take that banner with him for distribution elsewhere or dump it. (Silver is currently embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit with Goldman Sachs over financing for Dark Castle.) Thus comes the quiet finish to one of the most long-term, big-time, noisy, up and down, and ultimately dysfunctional relationships between a film producer and a movie studio.  Read More »

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WB Dates Todd Lincoln’s ‘The Apparition’

Warner Bros has slated previously undated The Apparition for August 24, 2012. Directed by Todd Lincoln, the supernatural thriller with Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan goes up against Summit’s horror movie Sinister as well as David Koepp’s Premium Rush from Sony with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jamie Chung.

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Joel Silver Re-Teams With Sly & Walter Hill

By | Friday June 10, 2011 @ 7:11pm PDT

BURBANK, CA – June 10, 2011 – Dark Castle Entertainment will partner with IM Global and After Dark Films on director Walter Hill’s upcoming action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone, it was announced today jointly by the three companies. The film is scheduled to begin production on location in Louisiana later this month and will be distributed domestically by Warner Bros Pictures, under its ongoing arrangement with Dark Castle. Based on the graphic novel Bullet to the Head, written by Matz and illustrated by Colin Wilson, it tells the story of a New Orleans hitman (Stallone) and a New York City cop who form an alliance to bring down the killers of their respective partners.

Joel Silver, Chairman of Dark Castle Entertainment, previously produced the Stallone films “Demolition Man” and “Assassins.” Silver’s previous creative collaborations with veteran director Hill include the box-office hit “48 Hours,” “Warriors” and HBO’s long-running “Tales from the Crypt.” The new film is a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation in association with Dark Castle Entertainment, IM Global and After Dark Films.

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Germany Funds 3 More Foreign Projects

Ashley_GreeneEXCLUSIVE: DFFF, the German state feature film fund, has awarded €1.8 million ($2.3 million) to David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and €952,348 ($1.2 million) to Dark Castle’s The Apparition, starring Ashley Greene (Twilight: Eclipse). It’s also backing Joe Wright’s action movie Hanna from Focus Features, but hasn’t fixed the amount yet.

Christine Berg, head of DFFF, tells me Hollywood funding applications are coming in much later this year. It shows how difficult it has become piecing together multiparty finance. “But I’m not worried. Applications come in a little later and later each year,” she tells me.

The DFFF has awarded €10.5 million to 32 projects in the first half of 2010. It has €60 million annually to play with.

A Dangerous Method, which shot at Cologne’s MMC Studios, has already picked up €1.2 million from Germany’s Federal Film Board and regional fund Filmstiftung NRW.

Last year, the DFFF awarded €22.1 million to 38 international big-budget features including Inglorious Basterds, Anonymous and Unknown White Male.

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