'Slumdog' producer sets up own company

LONDON — “Slumdog Millionaire” producer Christian Colson is ankling Celador Films to set up his own shingle, Cloud Nine Films.

Colson, who is still reveling in the afterglow of “Slumdog’s” eight Oscar wins and worldwide cume of more than $200 million, has inked a five-year development, production, sales and distribution pact with Pathe U.K.

He already has a close relationship with Pathe, which has distributed, sold or co-financed a number of Celador projects in recent years.

Cloud Nine will become Pathe’s key U.K.-based production partner, and Pathe will take distribution rights on all its projects in the U.K. and France and handle international sales on other territories.

Colson intends to develop an eclectic slate across multiple genres and budgets and hopes to have the first pic in production by 2010.

He will also continue to oversee a number of projects developed with Pathe and Celador, where he had held the post of managing director since 2002.

First up for Colson, Pathe and Celador is helmer Jon Harris’ horror sequel “The Descent Part 2,” followed by director Tom Harper’s dark coming-of-age tale “The Scouting Book for Boys,” starring Thomas Turgoose (“This Is England”). Both are in post-production.

Brit director Neil Marshall’s historical epic “Centurion,” set in 87 A.D. during the Roman invasion of Britain, is lensing. Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke and Olga Kurylenko have joined the cast.

Celador, Pathe and Cloud Nine will also work together on “Selma,” which traces the civil rights march in the town in Alabama. Pic is slated to start production later this year.

Underscoring the amicable nature of their parting, Colson will remain a shareholder in Celador Films, while Celador chairman Paul Smith will become a director of Cloud Nine.

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