Hong Kong-based entrepreneurSammy Lee has ambitious plans for his movie company Media 8 Entertainment whichgoes far beyond just financing films like Running Scared, Santa Slays, TheUpside Of Anger and the company's biggest production investment to date -the $50m Man About Town which has Ben Affleck attached to star.
"I want to expand it tobecome more of a broad media company and we are starting with movieproduction," Lee said in Cannes this week. "The next step will be TVco-production in the local Chinese market and we are also looking atdistribution opportunities in Europe." Lee says Media 8 has been in earlydiscussions about taking majority stakes in existing distribution businesses inkey European territories.
It all sounds logical to theambitious Lee, whose background in real estate, hotels and corporate financelaw has led to his latest $875m development in London's fashionableKnightsbridge where penthouse apartments cost $31m.
Media 8 has been building areputation in Hollywood for being able to fully finance pictures, which is whytalent such as Brett Ratner, the executive producer on Running Scaredand Santa Slays, and Mike Binder, the director on The Upside Of Angerand Man About Town, have developed strong relationships there. "We donot have to pre-sell a movie," said Lee. "So far we are more or less proven andfrom now on we will be backing eight films a year which I don't think you cansay many independent production companies are able to do."