The former Warner Bros. studio chief has been lining up financing for his new production company and says he expects to raise $1 billion from financiers and a partnership with China’s Fosun Group.
“I’m very grateful to have Fosun Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment as integral parts of this venture,” Robinov said in a statement. “Their support, experience and accomplishments will help us build a great global media company together.”
The plan is for Sony to roll out six films a year around the world. The pictures will be a mix of prestige films and franchise hopefuls fielded by creatively minded directors with a commercial track record. They will be developed in-house as well as acquired, but no announcement was made about when the company will start producing content.
Robinov has been praised for his rapport with filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Ben Affleck and championed such risky and successful products as “Gravity” and “The Dark Knight” during his tenure at Warner Bros. Personality conflicts and bitterness over being passed over for the post of Warner Bros. CEO in favor of Kevin Tsujihara led to his ouster in 2013. He has been plotting his next move since that time, and had at various points been rumored to be in the mix for high-profile jobs at former rivals such as Fox.
For Sony, Robinov is just the latest high-profile executive to move onto the lot in the past year. The company, which has undergone a series of layoffs after a disappointing 2013, has tried to shift course by teaming up with former 20th Century Fox studio chief Tom Rothman, who it brought on to reinvigorate TriStar, and producer Michael De Luca, who came on board as president of production.
The only places Sony won’t get rights to will be China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions. Those rights have yet to be claimed, but expect Fosun to have some say in their destination. As part of the agreement, Sony will also become an investor in Studio 8 with an undisclosed financial commitment.
The company will be based at Sony’s Culver City, Calif. lot. But it’s an East-West venture, with Robinov working to develop television and digital content with Fosun Group.