Talks are ongoing between former Warner Bros Motion Picture Group President Jeff Robinov and numerous investors, including Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Media Corp, sources said late Thursday, despite published reports to the contrary. A total of three Chinese companies are in discussions to finance Robinov’s new company — Studio 8 — including Fosun International (which, since it is not a distribution company, probably would be an equity investor) and Huayi, but nothing is set in stone yet. There also are talks with other possible partners as well. If financing comes together, Robinov’s new company will be set up at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where studio execs are awaiting word on the outcome of the talks. Robinov’s company would be a shot in the arm for Sony as he has a proven and impressive track record for choosing and championing smart, commercial material (the multiple-Oscar-winning Gravity and The Lego Movie) and rebooting stale franchises a la the Batman series with Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Warner Bros still is reaping the benefits of the Robinov slate at the box office; for instance, The Lego Movie is one of the highest-grossing pics of 2014. The studio now is flagging a bit a year after the executive’s exit. He is well known for having established strong relationships with numerous top filmmakers and writers.
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