Company restarts as producer
Endgame Entertainment has completed a round of financing that gives the company more than $100 million in operating capital.Endgame will use its new coin to transform itself into a full-fledged production and financing company. Since its 2003 formation as a private equity fund, Endgame has been involved in more than 20 films in a co-financing or producing capacity. Titles include “Hotel Rwanda,” “Lord of War,” “Proof,” “White Noise,” “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” “Beyond the Sea” and “Stage Beauty.” Endgame has folded its remaining fund resources into the new financing. CEO James Stern supplied some of the money himself, he said, but most came from private equity sources. Endgame will continue to follow as eclectic a track as has Stern, a film director, producer of musicals “The Producers” and “Hairspray” and holder of NBA championship rings as part owner of the Chicago Bulls going back to the Michael Jordan-led title runs. While genre, documentaries and musicals will remain staples, Stern will push Endgame into higher-budgeted films, limiting exposure with distribution deals. To Stern, a good example of the company’s increased ambition is “Courting Danger,” an Insley Pere-scripted drama the company developed about Alice Marble. She was the top-ranked U.S. female tennis player, drafted in 1939 to spy on an ex-lover, a Swiss banker suspected of funneling money to the Nazis. Endgame will make a first-look deal with a studio in the next 12 months, said Stern, who continues his stage producing with Broadway tuner “The Wedding Singer” and a musical adaptation of “Leap of Faith” that Taylor Hackford will direct. “We plan to be actively producing and financing or co-financing three to five films each year,” Stern said. “Our principal interest is in building a library of value over the next five years.” Cash infusion comes as Endgame is producing “Solstice,” a supernatural thriller helmed by “The Blair Witch Project” co-director Daniel Myrick. Endgame developed, produced and fully financed the film, which Stern will begin showing to distribs in the next few months for a likely winter release. At Cannes he will begin showing “The Battleground,” a political documentary he directed about the struggle between presidential candidates Bush and Kerry for the pivotal state of Ohio in the 2004 election. Endgame also co-produced and financed with Summit the comedy “Lies & Alibis,” which Columbia Pictures releases this fall.
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