Let’s agree on this: Hollywood remains a haven for nepotism. It also opens its arms to anyone with money. So Oracle founder/CEO Larry Ellison’s 27-year-old son is welcomed as long as he’s coming up with $350M to co-fund movies. Funny how Hollywood didn’t much care for him when he was just an actor. But now Paramount tells me David Ellison will be helping lessen its risk on films with budgets over $30 million. Immediately, he is funding half of Mission Impossible 4, True Grit, and the latest Jack Ryan thriller (from the Tom Clancy character). Paramount is especially susceptible to young Ellison’s charms because the studio has been self-financing its films ever since July 2008 when the worldwide financial crisis hit and the studio didn’t consummate a $450 million financing deal with Deutsche Bank to mitigate the studio’s risk.
Ellison and his movie label Skydance Productions came by the moolah – $150 million in equity and a 4-year, $200-million revolving credit facility led by JP Morgan Chase, – with the help of his dad who provided an undisclosed portion of the equity, according to today’s Los Angeles Times, which notes that Young Ellison had been trying to raise money since last fall. On the other hand, the newspaper forgot to mention that David Ellison really stepped in it when he tried paying Taylor Lautner $7.5 million to co-star in Northern Lights. But Taylor dropped out and other actors passed on the project produced by young Ellison and Skydance because David had written himself a big role as an actor and pilot in the movie about extreme flying. Ellison’s flack told me today the pic is now dead.