German fund specialist ALCAS is offering the investing public a slice of four upcoming Paramount features including the next film in the Tom Clancy franchise, The Sum Of All Fears, and Ben Stiller comedy Zoolander.
Investors are being invited to contribute at least $43,000 (DM100,000) to a $280m (DM650m) fund, which is also financing Radio Loco, to be directed by Mimi Leder, and Lee Tamahori's $42m thriller Along Came A Spider.
Radio Loco is based on the true story of a psychology student who launches a radio programme made by patients in a clinic for the mentally ill. Along Came A Spider, which stars Morgan Freeman and Monica Potter, is about an attempt to rescue a congressman's daughter who is kidnapped from a private school.
Stiller's Zoolander, about a fashion model who is brainwashed into killing the president of Malaysia, is set to star Stiller, Owen Wilson and Milla Jovovich. The Sum Of All Fears is set to star Ben Affleck as the Jack Ryan character previously portrayed by Harrison Ford. The film, about a terrorist plot to blow up the Super Bowl with a nuclear bomb, is being produced by Mace Neufeld and Robert Rehme. Phil Alden Robinson is lined up to direct.
Paramount has already financed several productions via ALCAS leasing funds including Mission Impossible 2, Shaft, Rules Of Engagement and Double Jeopardy.
Meanwhile, the US' Mandalay Pictures has turned to another Munich-based leasing fund specialist, LHI Leasing, to raise additional finance for its Oliver Stone project Beyond Borders, set to star Ralph Fiennes and Angelina Jolie and which Paramount will release domestically.
Stuttgart-based media fund KC Medien is already backing the production as part of a multi-million dollar alliance with Mandalay (set to be officially unveiled next week). But LHI's Thomas Kruetzmann explained that: "[LHI] is co-financing the project in one of the last leasing funds that will still be possible under the present legislation, while KC Medien's involvement is as an entrepreneurial participation".
LHI previously used leasing funds to finance Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys, starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire, and Chris Koch's Snow Day. The company plans to remain involved in film financing, even after the leasing fund model becomes obsolete, by setting up alternative structures. It has already set up a so-called "operating fund" that will back film and TV projects produced by Hallmark Entertainment.