Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spielberg Signs Movie Deal with India's Reliance

DreamWorks SKG, the movie production vehicle for star director Steven Spielberg, on Friday completed a widely expected new financing deal with Reliance Entertainment of India.
The Wall Street Journal said on its Web site Friday that Reliance will invest $500 million and provide another $700 million in debt through JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The deal will give DreamWorks its independence from Viacom Inc. subsidiary Paramount Pictures, which bought the production house for $1.6 billion in 2006, and save Paramount overhead costs by cutting loose the high-priced director.
Paramount released a statement wishing the DreamWorks principals well and said it would waive certain provisions of their original deal to allow them to join the new company without delay.
Spielberg is,however, expected to continue to direct "Indiana Jones" sequels with Paramount and Lucasfilm as production companies.
Meanwhile, Reliance Entertainment — part of one of India's top conglomerates, Reliance ADA Group — is deepening the ties between Bollywood and Hollywood.
Reliance Entertainment has as many as 100 films in production and development in India, and Reliance Big Entertainment, a subsidiary, is focused on striking cross-border collaborations involving gaming, movies, online, animation and music.
During the Cannes Film Festival in May, Reliance Big Entertainment announced that it would invest $1 billion to develop and co-produce movies with Hollywood stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Nicholas Cage and filmmaker Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures.