U will have first option to release pics from former co-topper

Aiming to produce and finance between one and three films per year over the next four years, Reliance Entertainment has committed funds for former Universal co-chairman David Linde’s new film production and financing shingle.

According to a release from Linde’s company, the as-yet-unnamed shingle will produce and fund projects designed for the global marketplace.

Linde has also closed a deal with U whereby the studio will have the first option to co-finance each developed project and distribute the pic domestically and in “other significant international territories.” Should U pass, Linde would shop projects to other studios.

“Our company is designed in response to a changing world,” said Linde in the statement. “We have the opportunity to tap into the global industry’s desire for films while at the same time build a business that offers opportunities to our creative partners by harnessing both traditional means of distribution as well as new technologies, platforms and markets.”

Reliance will handle distribution in India.

Linde’s company has made output deals with eOne, Italia Films, Nordisk Film, Revolutionary Releasing, Sun Distribution and TeleMunchen Group.

Tory Metzger, who previously served as prexy for MRC film group, will join the venture as president of production, while Linde has named Adam Rymer, a former Universal senior VP of digital platforms, as the company’s chief operating officer.

Canon Media Partners, O’Mel-veny and Myers, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown and David Boyle negotiated the deal.

Linde, a two-decade veteran of the film biz who co-headed Focus Features before moving over to Universal, heads Lava Bear. Linde focused much of his attention on the international marketplace during his tenure at U, overseeing some of the studio’s franchise and international production expansion and the launch of Illumination Entertainment.

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