Upcoming productions include 'X-Men 3,' 'Eragon'
LONDON — Ingenious Film Partners, the new fund launched by British financier Ingenious Media, has unveiled its debut slate of productions, including four pics from 20th Century Fox and three from veteran producer Dino De Laurentiis.IFP is investing an estimated $200 million of production equity into 11 movies, typically providing more than 30% of the negative costs. The Fox pics include “X-Men 3,” directed by Brett Ratner; “Garfield 2,” from Tim Hill; helmer Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine”; and fantasy project “Eragon,” directed by Stefen Fangmeier. The De Laurentiis trio includes “Young Hannibal,” directed by Peter Webber and starring Gong Li; David Leland’s version of “The Decameron,” starring Hayden Christensen; and Doug Lefler’s Roman epic “The Last Legion,” with Colin Firth and Aishwarya Rai. IFB is also backing two projects with BBC Films — Woody Allen’s next untitled British movie and Francesca Joseph’s “Four Last Songs.” Slate is completed by “The Mistress of Spices,” directed by Paul Mayeda Berges and also starring Rai; and “Flyboys,” a WWI drama directed by Tony Bill and produced by Dean Devlin. Ingenious chairman Patrick McKenna said IFP is “not a tax scheme but a risk capital film fund that has adopted an integrated commercial strategy encompassing production and distribution.” Because it is not based on the U.K.’s film tax breaks, IFP is not confined to investing in British-qualifying pics. However, McKenna says the priority is to back films with a “high British content.” “X-Men 3,” for example, features Brit actors Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Alan Cumming, although since Matthew Vaughn recently ankled the project, it no longer has a British director. Ingenious launched IFP last November and completed the fund-raising in March, with Ingenious putting up its own capital to match the contribution by outside investors. The IFP will expend 45% of the coin immediately as production equity, and spend the remaining 55% over five years on distribution rights, library acquisitions and P&A. McKenna will not reveal how much it raised, confirming only that it exceeded the original target of £100 million ($180 million). One source indicates that the final figure was actually above $400 million, which tallies with the scale of IFP’s first production slate. Ingenious will launch a second IFP fund later this year.