Granada in talks with Lion

Deal would be first of its kind for MGM

LONDON — Granada Film is negotiating with MGM for an output deal to co-finance around eight films a year, split evenly between big-budget U.S. projects and smaller Euro pics.

The pact would cover Granada Film’s production slate, with MGM taking North American rights. Granada execs refused to comment. If it pans out, it would be MGM’s first such deal with an international entity.

The first projects are likely to include the fruits of Granada’s recently signed nonexclusive production deal with John Malkovich’s production company, under which Granada will provide development funding for an initial slate of five films.

Granada Film is the feature production arm of British TV and leisure giant Granada Group, one of the biggest players in the ITV network.

From tentative beginnings almost 10 years ago with the Oscar-winning “My Left Foot,” the company has significantly geared up its film activities in the past year, shooting half a dozen pics including “The Misadventures of Margaret” starring Parker Posey, “Rogue Trader” starring Ewan McGregor and “An Inch Over the Horizon” with Bob Hoskins. Long-standing projects still in the works include a Stateside movie version of the Granada TV hit “Prime Suspect.”

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