Hoton the heels of yesterday's alignment with Cary Granat's Walden, SummitEntertainment has closed a long-term agreement with Howard Baldwin's CrusaderEntertainment to represent its product in international territories. BothWalden and Crusader are backed by Denver-based billionaire Phillip Anschutz andhis Anschutz Group which also controls one sixth of the US exhibition market.
Firsttitles on the Summit/Crusader deals are the $80m action adventure Sahara, which Paramount Pictureswill release theatrically in North America in summer 2003 and Russell Mulcahy'sSwimming Upstream based on the novel by Tony and Diane Fingleton and starringGeoffrey Rush and Judy Davis.
Paramountand Crusader are hoping that Sahara - which is the first of a series offilms based on the books by Clive Cussler and featuring the adventure hero DirkPitt - will kickstart a movie franchise. Rob Bowman (Reign Of Fire, X-Files: The Movie) is set to direct.
Crusader has a three year, first lookdomestic deal with Paramount Pictures and has also just formed a strategicalliance with Nadia Bronson and her Nadia Bronson & Associates which willact as the company's marketing and distribution consultant on all theatricaloverseas deals.
SwimmingUpstream,which is produced by Howard and Karen Baldwin is the story of Tony Fingleton'sstruggles to become an Olympic swimmer despite his overbearing, alcoholicfather.