EXCLUSIVE: It escaped almost everybody’s notice that Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack and his buddy and business associate Rob Lowe attended the November 14th premiere of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. There appeared no reason for the pair to be there: they had no stake in the film, and they are not teenage girls. They did pose on the Red Carpet for a photo with Summit co-chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger (see right). And they did have a very good reason to be there, Deadline has learned. Because Santa Monica-based Colony Capital is exploring a deal in which Barrack would take a large equity stake in Summit Entertainment.
Until now, the only potential marriage partner poised for Summit has been Lionsgate, with the two companies engaged in a long and public flirtation to merge. We are told that Colony Capital is not proposing a merger. Instead, Summit would be a friendly takeover target, with the braintrust continuing to run the show, and Summit investors cashing out. There are two ways to proceed being mulled by Colony Capital right now. Barrack is a key owner of Miramax, and in one scenario, Barrack would meld the assets of Summit with a Miramax library. The other scenario has Colony Capital setting up a different company to take a large equity stake in Summit and leave it as a freestanding mini-studio. Barrack and Lowe (yes, Lowe is very much part of this and his … Read More »
Miramax Films chief Mike Lang came into Cannes determined to dispel the notion that his backers handed $660 million over to Disney simply to manage a film library. Lang met me at the Majestic Friday alongside Rob Lowe, the strategic advisor and an investor in the Miramax deal, one of several he and Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack are planning. Lowe has taken an active hand in poring over a trove of screenplays left behind by Harvey and Bob Weinstein when they exited Disney to form The Weinstein Company. Lowe and Lang feel that the best of those scripts—50-75 of 650 are make-able. Fresh productions, coupled with a plan to soon hire an executive to spearhead film acquisitions and development, positions Miramax to make a content play that Lang and Lowe said will replenish the library and keep it viable.
Describing the process of poring over projects that Disney didn’t seem to care about after the Weinsteins left, Lowe said it was “a lot like that final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the warehouse with all those crates stacked up. Boxes and boxes of scripts and material, none of it catalogued. We’d get five from the bottom of a box, and find a script by Anthony Minghella that he and Sydney Pollack were working on before they died. It’s called The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, it’s a great script, and if it was good enough for Minghella and … Read More »
So sad to be gone all Memorial Day and come back to dozens of phone and email messages that Hollywood’s great filmmaker Sydney Pollack has died after a long bout with cancer. I first heard about the seriousness of his illness when he went to Houston to seek powerhouse medical treatment. For the many months since then, every name in Hollywood made a pilgrimage to sit with Sydney at his home. It was wonderful that he saw how many friends and admirers he had within the Industry.