Douglas/Reuther on thin ice

Inside Move

Word is that the three-year partnership between Michael Douglas and Steven Reuther is coming to an end. Insiders said that Reuther is still looking for financing to keep the company afloat.

German film financier Bodo Scriba had a 30% stake in Douglas/Reuther Prods. in exchange for rights in Germany and Eastern Europe. But in February of this year it was reported in the German press that Scriba was selling his stake. German media mogul Leo Kirch was expected to take over, but that has not happened.

If Douglas/Reuther calls it quits, the timing would be ironic. After a slow start with “The Ghost and the Darkness,” the company recently found box office gold with the actioner “Face/Off,” which is moving toward the $100 million mark. In addition, there is positive buzz on Douglas/Reuther’s Francis Ford Coppola-directed “The Rainmaker,” based on a John Grisham book.

It is possible that Paramount and Universal higher-ups may step in with a plan to help the company out, as Douglas/Reuther recently began negotiating a deal split between the two studios (Daily Variety, June 1). In the meantime, Douglas/Reuther is standing on very wobbly legs.

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