Abu Dhabi's production unit unveils projects
Abu Dhabi’s $1 billion production arm Imagenation has announced Breck Eisner’s “The Crazies” and Roger Kumble’s “Furry Vengeance” as the first two projects it will invest in as part of its $250 million production pact with Participant Media.Those projects are just the pact’s inaugural efforts: Participant Media chief exec Jim Berk confirmed to Variety that all of the shingle’s future feature projects will be co-produced and co-financed with Imagenation. “All of the feature films which we have in development will go through our fund with Imagenation,” said Berk. “It means that we’ll be able to move very aggressively and create these exciting projects.” Participant has a development slate of some 42 projects: 30 features and 12 docs. The $250 million pact with Imagenation, inked last September to provide production funding for 15-18 films over five years, will only cover the feature projects and not Participant’s docu slate. The news means Participant’s deal with Imagenation is even more expansive than previously thought. “This is our single funding vehicle now,” said Berk. “We’re on the verge of putting together another couple of projects, so by 2010 we’re going to have a really steady flow of releases out of this fund.” While Participant inked a distribution deal with Summit in January to cover the projects emanating from the Imagenation fund, the first feature out of the fund “The Crazies,” which stars Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, will be released through Overture domestically next February. All of the other ensuing Participant-Imagenation projects will be released by Summit. “Furry Vengeance” stars Brendan Fraser as a man who moves his family from the city to launch a housing subdivision in the Oregon wilderness, where he encounters a unique group of protesters who don’t want their homes disturbed. Lensing is scheduled to begin this July with the pic set to be released domestically in July 2010. “The speed in which this fund has become a reality and the robust pipeline of projects in development bodes very well for our collaboration,” said Imagenation chief exec Ed Borgerding.