Warner Bros Pictures willco-finance six upcoming projects with Los Angeles-based Virtual Studiosincluding Steven Soderbergh's The Good German, Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon and Ed Zwick's Blood Diamond.
The deal was originally announced back in October. Relativity Media's chief executive officer Ryan Kavanaugh and his partner Lynwood Spinks were instrumental in facilitating the unique financing on the deal.
The other three titles are VFor Vendetta starring NataliePortman, Hugo Weaving and Stephen Rea and directed by James McTeigue; TheAssassination Of Jesse Jamesstarring Brad Pitt and Sam Shepard and directed by Andrew Dominik; and 300, which stars Gerald Butler and will be directed byZach Snyder for a 2007 release.
"As moviemaking gets morecomplex, it's increasingly helpful to find partners who appreciate ourintention to deliver the highest quality entertainment and are willing to joinus in assuming the challenges of making that possible," Warner Bros productionchief Jeff Robinov said.
"Virtual Studios is aterrific partner that shares our goals and believes in our methods. We lookforward to an outstanding collaboration."
"Alan Horn and Jeff's trackrecord in choosing projects with both commercial and artistic merit has beenremarkable, particularly in the current industry environment," Virtual Studiosmanaging director Benjamin Waisbren added.
"And Warner's exceptionalperformance demonstrates that its global marketing and distributioncapabilities are second to none. This investment is an important part of ourstrategy to create and manage a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets inthe global motion picture industry, and the first step in building a long-termpartnership with Warner Bros Pictures."
The black-and-white thrillerThe Good German stars GeorgeClooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire under Soderbergh's direction; Poseidon stars Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss andEmmy Rossum under Petersen'sdirection; and Blood Stone starsLeonardo DiCaprio, DjimonHonsou and Jennifer Connelly under Zwick's direction.
Virtual Studios investsequity capital for theatrical production and distribution. It is a jointventure partner with Initial Entertainment Group in IEG Virtual Studios, and aprivate equity investor and joint venture partner with Paris-based ExceptionWild Bunch.
Through VS Financial,Virtual's Beverly Hills-based joint venture with Relativity, the companyprovides single picture financing and other forms of debt capital for theproduction of independent films.