Tag Archives: Universal

Spielberg, Jackson digging for ‘Tintin’

Tintin may have a new benefactor.

Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are in the process of trying to line up a co-financing and co-distribution partner for their in-the-works trilogy of “Tintin” films, set up at Paramount Pictures. The director-producers are trying to entice Sony Pictures, which is now in discussions with Paramount, to help finance the films and take on international distribution.

Universal Pictures, which just entered into a seven-year distribution deal with the newly separated DreamWorks, of which Spielberg is a principal, last month declined to finance half of the first picture at a $130 million price tag.

At that time, Paramount quickly offered to finance the entire project, but the terms of the offer provoked the filmmakers to look for other options. Both Spielberg and Jackson, as two of the most successful and powerful director-producers in Hollywood, are accustomed to large back-end arrangements.

Should a deal close, Sony will not have a role in the creative development of the films, the first of which Spielberg is already in the process of directing. Jackson plans to direct the second.

Under the purported terms of the deal being negotiated, first reported by the New York Times, Paramount would retain distribution of the films in North America and several other English-seaking territories. This would seem to put the Melrose studio at a disadvantage given Tintin’s enduring appeal outside of the States, where he is much less well known.

Spielberg has long been trying to make films about the famously intrepid, globetrotting young reporter. The director is using motion-capture technology to bring the character, created by Belgian artist Herge, to life. It is scheduled for release in 2010.

The Spielberg camp had no comment on the potential deal.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Vivendi stays 20% in NBC

PARIS, December 14 /CNW/ – Vivendi has informed GE of its decision not to exercise its exit rights with respect to NBC Universal in January 2007. Vivendi will remain a shareholder in NBC Universal, in which it has a 20% stake.

Simultaneously, the agreements between Vivendi and GE have been modified. The timeline of Vivendi’s right to demand an IPO of NBC Universal and of GE’s right to call Vivendi’s interest have been extended.

Vivendi’s demand right can now be exercised in November each year from 2007 to 2016 with the closing at market value taking place over the following

year. Similarly, the call option in GE’s favor can be exercised in May each year from 2011 to 2017 with a floor price of $8.3 billion that will increase

each year from May 2009 based on the US Consumer Price Index.

Lastly, Vivendi’s liquidity right in the first year has been increased to $4 billion (from $3 billion) and remains $4 billion each year thereafter.