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Jackman gets Fox into Aussie pic biz

Thesp plants production Seed in Oz

Hugh Jackman and his Seed Prods. partner John Palermo are expanding their relationship with 20th Century Fox by forming a division that will make modestly budgeted films in Australia with local talent.

Seed will take office space on the Fox Australia lot in Sydney.

Jackman said the plan is to produce two to three films per year, some of which he will star in.

Since Seed Prods. took root at Fox in June 2005, Jackman and Palermo have set up several star vehicles for Jackman. They are producing the David Benioff-scripted “X-Men” spinoff “Wolverine.”

“The mission statement here is to build bridges between Australia and America,” Jackman told Daily Variety. “I’ve been a lucky recipient of that bridge.

“The intent is to fill a gap and make films with budgets of around $10 million. .The arrangement is creatively exciting and low-risk for Fox, which already has a big investment in Australia.”

Jackman said the inspiration was a conversation with Disney’s Dick Cook, who described how Buena Vista Intl. has tapped talent in England and turned a profit with films like “Calendar Girls.”

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