Advanced Medien, which earlier this week announced a $34m rights issue, is committing some of that cash to a new joint venture with Wolfgang Petersen, director of Das Boot, In The Line Of Fire and Air Force One.

The five-year deal sees the creation of a Los Angeles office that will produce and distribute up to two films per year. The first two, which Petersen will produce but not necessarily direct, are scheduled to be delivered next year, according to Advanced. Budgets are expected to be in the $40m-$80m range.

Petersen, who is currently finishing The Perfect Storm for Warner Bros, and his Radiant Productions partner Gail Katz currently have a deal with Sony Pictures which expires in November.

"Our global joint venture with a filmmaker of Wolfgang Petersen's stature and track record provides our company with a continuous flow of world class product. In addition to film rights, the joint venture will aggressively pursue merchandising and new media opportunities," said Christophe Montague, Advanced's chairman and CEO. "Content is king and with Wolfgang Petersen, Germany's most successful producer and director, we have a partner who has consistently appealed to the global audience."

Petersen is expected next to direct Endurance for Sony, but the first project put through the new company is tipped to be Cafe Berlin, a 1920s set romance, to be produced with Judy Goldstein and Larry Spiegel.