Cologne-based publiclytraded entertainment group Splendid Medien AG, which recently sold its 49%stake in Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), has concluded its next foray intoHollywood, forming Splendid Pictures Inc, a new production/distribution outfitwith David Glasser's Cutting Edge Entertainment (CEE).
Splendid has 80% of the newventure while Glasser has 20%; CEE's entire existing infrastucture anddevelopment slate is incorporated into the new company. Glasser is CEO of thecompany but will run it with Splendid CEO Andreas Klein. (The duo are seen here, with Klein on the left.)
Klein said yesterday thatthe deal was enabled by the soon-to-be-closed IEG sale to InternationalMediawhich netted a reported $45m, giving Splendid some $22m to spend. "Wehave indentified two banks which will give us a production facility of $150mfor film and TV projects," said Klein, who added that most of the titlesare in place for the first year.
He added that the newventure is planning to produce 10 to 15 films a year, two in the $40m-plusrange and eight to ten in the $5m to $25m range. And while Splendid clearlyneeds volume to satisfy shareholders and distribution pipelines in Germany,Klein stressed that the time was passed when German media companies are justlooking for turnover. "I see incredible potential in David Glasser for alongterm company," he said. "He has made his way and developed hiscompany and I believe in him as a young dynamic producer."
Projects already slated toshoot in 2002 include Dolan's Cadillac, a thriller based on a Stephen King short story,which has Sylvester Stallone attached to star and Stacey Title to direct; BountyKiller, written and to be directedby Jonathan Hensleigh and to be produced by Gale Anne Hurd; and Redliners, the second directorial feature from the infamous TonyKaye (American History X) whichis the story of a merchant banker who is forced by the government to goundercover with drug cartels after he is caught sending fraudulent wires.
Cutting Edge is an eightyear-old company which has moved from a video-driven venture into higherprofile pictures such as Joe Carnahan's police thriller Narc starring Ray Liotta and Jason Patric which was incompetition at the recent Sundance Film Festival, and Alec Baldwin'slong-gestating directorial debut The Devil And Daniel Webster, the producers cut of which is being delivered onFeb 14, starring Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The companyalso handled international sales on Oscar winner Pollock directed by Ed Harris.
"We were at the videoend of it for the beginning stages of the company to get our teeth cut,"says Glasser, "but about a year and a half ago, we decided to jump intothe marketplace and make the movies we wanted to make - higher levelprojects which required some pretty big risks. That's when I startedlooking around for the right partnership."
Mark Vega and David Markmanof Greenberg Traurig LLP brokered the deal on behalf of Cutting Edge withNiveen Tadros and Steven Chinowsky of Latham and Watkins representing Splendid.