Wolf Schmidt has put his 15-year-old Kodiak Films into voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy — citing legal and financial differences with its former creditor, the French bank Credit Lyonnais. The veteran producer (“Extreme Justice”) did business at the Cannes Film Festival last month under the new banner of Big Bear Licensing Corp.
“Because of the 1990 bankruptcy of MCEG, which owed Kodiak $ 4 million on a domestic video deal at the time it closed its doors, we attempted to reach a settlement with CL, which has accepted and discounted our contract with MCEG,” Schmidt told Daily Variety.
When he couldn’t come to terms with the bank, “We felt the most productive course of action would be to accept the opportunity to go forward with a new company.”
During the fest, Schmidt hooked up with a new group of European investors and has set up Big Bear. Schmidt is president of the California subsid that operates under the same name.
Big Bear has lined up three pix for its initial slate. First to go is $ 6.5 million “Red Palms,” a family drama that will be directed by Joseph Zito (“Red Scorpion”).
“Under Siege” and “Lethal Weapon” thesp Gary Busey will play an ex-colonel of the Marine Corps who links up with a young Cuban refugee to go back into his native country to rescue the Cuban’s sister.
Rap star Gerardo (“Colors”) will also star in the film, which goes before cameras in Miami and Puerto Rico in September.
The $ 12 million “The Malina Brotherhood” tells the tale of the Russian Mafia and the danger it represents to the world. It will be co-produced with Italy’s Fulvio Lucisano. Casting is under way.
In the interim, Big Bear will shoot a $ 3 million pic in Canada, “Dead Reckoning,” to be directed by Herb Linsey and starring Miles O’Keeffe.