CBS This Morning‘s Charlie Rose has a fascinating interview this morning with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. The billionaire describes the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs — his former best friend — as “our Edison…our Picasso” and adds that under Tim Cook the company “will not be nearly so successful.”Ellison also attacks Google CEO Larry Page: Google’s Android operating system infringes on Oracle’s copyrights for Java, the company says.
EXCLUSIVE: David Ellison’s Skydance Productions is negotiating a rights deal to turn the 1970s animated science fiction TV series Star Blazers into a large scale live action feature. Ellison will hire Christopher McQuarrie to write the script, with Ellison and Josh C. Kline producing with McQuarrie. The series was based on the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato. Both are described as “space opera,” involving alien invasions, the near extinction of the human race, and a last dash journey through space to save the planet.
Ellison started Skydance with hopes he could emulate the studio-aligned-producer-who-can-put-up-50% model that Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures has succeeded with at Warner Bros. Ellison made a deal with Paramount Pictures in late 2009 to co-finance four to six pictures per year, and then raised a reported $350 million in debt and equity funding. His Paramount deal has gotten off to a flying start: Skydance funded half of True Grit, the $30 million Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Western that is up for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. More importantly to Ellison’s investors, True Grit has so far grossed $165 million domestic, with foreign still rolling out.
Ellison is the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison and an accomplished acrobatic pilot who has a particular appetite for aviation projects (though his first foray as actor-producer, the Tony Bill-directed Flyboys, landed … Read More »
Let’s agree on this: Hollywood remains a haven for nepotism. It also opens its arms to anyone with money. So Oracle founder/CEO Larry Ellison’s 27-year-old son is welcomed as long as he’s coming up with $350M to co-fund movies. Funny how Hollywood didn’t much care for him when he was just an actor. But now Paramount tells me David Ellison will be helping lessen its risk on films with budgets over $30 million. Immediately, he is funding half of Mission Impossible 4, True Grit, and the latest Jack Ryan thriller (from the Tom Clancy character). Paramount is especially susceptible to young Ellison’s charms because the studio has been self-financing its films ever since July 2008 when the worldwide financial crisis hit and the studio didn’t consummate a $450 million financing deal with Deutsche Bank to mitigate the studio’s risk.
Ellison and his movie label Skydance Productions came by the moolah – $150 million in equity and a 4-year, $200-million revolving credit facility led by JP Morgan Chase, – with the help of his dad who provided an undisclosed portion of the equity, according to today’s Los Angeles Times, which notes that Young Ellison had been trying to raise money since last fall. On the other hand, the newspaper forgot to mention that David Ellison really stepped in it when he tried paying Taylor Lautner $7.5 million to co-star in Northern Lights. But Taylor dropped out and other actors passed on the project produced by … Read More »