Stephen Scharf, partner, O’Melveny & Myers

Dealmakers Impact Report 2011: Lawyers

Last summer, Scharf and his O’Melveny & Myers colleagues figuratively scaled the great the Great Wall of China for client Legendary Pictures and emerged with a first-of-its-kind multipicture joint venture.

“It’s probably one of the most complicated deals I’ve ever worked on,” says Scharf of launching Legendary East, a $441 million company based in Hong Kong that will produce one or two English-language, Chinese-themed pics per year for a global market. “It involves a heavily regulated industry in China, where in order to make movies that qualify you have to get government approval of the screenplay and the production agreement.”

KEY DEALS: Scharf also played a key role in the three-year pact between client Studiocanal and Anton Capital Entertainment that calls for the media fund to co-finance about 100 international films distributed by the French giant. Deal marks the first large slate financing pact ever inked for a European distribution company.

The year’s international focus taught Scharf that “whether the other side is speaking a native language or not, it’s all about really trying to understand what they are saying.”

He also advised MGM in its negotiations with Warner Bros./New Line over the financing of the two “Hobbit” films.

SPARE TIME: Scharf tills the soil with his wife on their small vineyard. “I have to have (the lawyer) job to afford the other one.”

TOP CAUSE: Weingart Center Assn.

Return to the Dealmakers Impact Report 2011 >>

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety