Leonardo DiCaprio Testifies To Federal Grand Jury In Malaysian Fund Probe: Report
Leonardo DiCaprio has reportedly secretly testified before a Washington, DC grand jury as part of a federal investigation into a Malaysian government investment fund.
The case, which involves some of the highest members of the Malaysian government and some major U.S. investors, centers on financier Low Taek Jho. Low allegedly stole and laundered billions of dollars from the investment fund, then financed a lobbying campaign to end the federal investigation.
Mimran Schur Takes Co-Fi Stakes In Sony’s ‘Holmes & Watson’ And ‘Bloodshot’
EXCLUSIVE: In a strong eight-figure commitment, Mimran Schur Pictures has taken a minority co-financing stake on two upcoming Sony Pictures Entertainment films. Mimran Schur has come aboard to co-finance Holmes & Watson, the Etan Cohen-directed comedy that stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly and opens December 25. The other film is Bloodshot, the Valiant Comics adaptation that stars Vin Diesel in his first live action superhero turn, directed by Blur Studios' Dave… Read
Franklin Leonard Announces The Black List Is Raising A Film Fund
Franklin Leonard used the prominent stage of the Wall Street Journal’s Tech D.Live conference to announce he’s raising a film fund to produce some of the exceptional screenplays submitted to The Black List.
The Black List’s annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays has a proven track record for finding compelling stories. Black List movies have won 53 Academy Awards and garnered 262 nominations, including four of the last 10 Best Picture… Read
Steven Quale Will Direct Aquatic Thriller ‘Alphas’ For Voltage Pictures
Steven Quale (Into the Storm, Aliens of the Deep) is set to direct the upcoming aquatic thriller Alphas, based on the screenplay by Frank Hannah (The Cooler).
The deep sea epic centers on a school of great white sharks terrorizing a coastal town. The only hope is a damaged killer whale who has been in solitary confinement for years after killing its trainer.
Producers include Academy Award-winning Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker, Wind River) for Voltage Pictures, Pierre… Read
Filmula & E Stars To Finance Movies For China Distribution – AFM
Johnny Lin’s Filmula and Allen Liu‘s E Stars are teaming to finance U.S. and international movies for distribution in China, the parties said at AFM today. Filmula will produce and co-finance with E Stars films ranging from commercial tentpoles to Oscar-driven material for E Stars to distribute.
The deal also will incorporate Indian financing., they said.
Lin was an executive producer of the Tom Cruise crime thriller American Made and, through his relationship with Brian… Read
Saudi Banking Scandal Movie ‘Billion Dollar Mirage’ Moving Forward At Name Lending Films
EXCLUSIVE: Newly formed production company Name Lending Films has set its inaugural project, Billion Dollar Mirage, with secured funding from aX Films and other private equity. The feature adaptation is based on the yet-to-be-released autobiography, Never Do Business With Princes or Kings, by American banker Glenn Stewart. Set in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the film centers on one of the largest financial scandals in history.
T.Y. Kim is attached to pen the screenplay… Read
‘Fortnite’ Maker Epic Games Raises $1.25 Billion In New Funding
Epic Games, the maker of top-selling videogame Fortnite, has raised $1.25 billion in new funding from investors including KKR, Iconiq Capital and Smash Ventures.
Disney and Endeavor are among those with small stakes in Epic. Chinese conglomerate Tencent owns 40% of the company, which was valued by Bloomberg over the summer at between $5 billion and $8 billion.
Fortnite has been a breakthrough for the gaming sector, drawing tens of millions of players through a… Read
Open Road Fetches Stalking-Horse Bid In Runup To Bankruptcy Auction
Open Road, the latest independent film company to hit the rocks, has received a “stalking-horse” bid of $87.5 million in Delaware bankruptcy court from a buyer identified as “OR Acquisition Co.”
According to court documents, the bid is backed by New York-based private equity firm Raven Capital Management. The firm’s principal, James Masciello, already has some involvement in the film industry. Raven provides financing for Sculptor Media and Masciello is among the… Read
UTA And Valence Media’s MRC Form TV Production And Finance Venture Civic Center Media
Deepening the investment of Hollywood agencies in content production, United Talent Agency has teamed with Valence Media and its Media Rights Capital subsidiary on a joint venture to be called Civic Center Media.
The new entity, in which UTA will hold an undisclosed minority stake, will develop, produce and finance premium TV series. Financial terms were not revealed, and the announcement of the venture said a search is under way for an executive to lead it.
Inked Brands Raises $6 Million To Support Its “Influencer Commerce” Business, Names New Board Members
Inked Brands, an e-commerce company that helps social media influencers convert their followers to customers, has completed a fundraising round with investments from the production company Archer Gray and from Jim Fielding, president of consumer products for 20th Century Fox.
The Kentucky-based company as raised $6 million to support its growth, as it builds out a platform where social media influencers create their own content and brands and deliver products to… Read
Endeavor Chief Ari Emanuel Talks Rebalancing The Company And How Media Disruption Puts It “In The Perfect Spot”
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel offered a roomful of Wall Street types his takes on several hot topics in media while also making a case for his privately held company’s progress in evolving from its traditional representation origins.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York, Emanuel said at the start of this decade, the company made about 80% of its money through traditional representation. Today, that number is closer to 50%, he said, with Endeavor… Read
Global Road Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection – Update
UPDATED at 6:50AM PT with company statement. Global Road has begun its bankruptcy process, as expected, filing for Chapter 11 protection.
Following the scenario sources had floated, the filing was made under the Open Road releasing unit, with the IM Global division remaining separate. That maneuver is akin to cutting off a gangrenous limb in order to save the patient. The Donald Tang-owned company also last week laid off around 50 employees in the film operations between… Read