RKO, Quadra pact

Solomon co. tapped for o'seas distribution

CANNES — RKO Pictures has appointed Christian Halsey Solomon’s Quadra Entertainment to arrange co-financing and foreign distribution for up to 11 remakes that it plans to put into production over the next 3-1/2 years.

The first titles to be produced under the deal are likely to be the thriller “Zombie,” for which RKO is hiring a writer, and the action/adventure “Desperate,” which Eddie Richey (“Phoenix”) is scripting and RKO’s Ted Hartley, Tracie Graham Rice and Victoria Graham Nevinny are producing.

Others in development at RKO are Joe Dante’s thriller “Crack-up”; romantic comedy “Consolation Marriage,” with Haft Entertainment; film noir “Nocturne,” to be produced with Quincy Jones; and “Sudden Fear,” for which RKO has held discussions with John and Rick Dahl.

Other earmarked remakes are “Fort Apache,” “The Set-Up” and “The Big Steal.”

RKO, headed by chairman and chief executive officer Hartley and vice chairman Dina Merrill, will control production and development of the pics.

Long-term alliances

Solomon will use his and Quadra’s relationships to form long-term alliances and output deals with foreign distributors.

Earlier this year, RKO inked a deal with Dimension to co-finance 11 pictures over the next 3-1/2 years, primarily budgeted at less than $15 million. Although Dimension will fully finance some remakes, most will be co-financed, with RKO retaining foreign rights.

Thus, the new arrangement with Quadra effectively gives RKO domestic distribution with Dimension and foreign via Quadra.

Solomon has a similar, although not identical, relationship with Edward Pressman Film Corp., which is in a joint venture with Quadra to co-finance and co-produce pics using a consortium of foreign distributors. Pics produced include the Jean-Claude Van Damme actioner “Legionnaire” and Abel Ferrara’s “New Rose Hotel.”

RKO’s ‘state department’

Likening Quadra to RKO’s “state department,” Hartley calls the pact a “strategic alliance.”

“We want (Solomon) to maintain, develop and expand our foreign relationships,” he said.

RKO has such a relationship with Toho Towa in Japan. But Solomon will be free to bring in his own distribs. “We won’t interfere with his contacts,” Hartley promised.

Solomon may exec produce some RKO pics, depending on his contribution to the project. Neither partner would divulge any financial details of the arrangement.

RKO’s bigger-budget films (and films through its low-budget division, Radio Pictures) also will go through Quadra, Solomon said, if RKO owns the foreign rights.

Thus far, RKO has co-produced a remake of “Mighty Joe Young” with Disney’s Hollywood Pictures banner. Pic is due to be released this Christmas. And RKO has a remake of “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” set up at Universal Pictures, with Jonathan Mostow attached to direct.

At Cannes, Quadra is pre-selling certain territories on the Leslie Nielsen starrer “2001: A Space Travesty.” Solomon is a producer on Lions Gate Films’ screen version of “American Psycho,” which will star Leonardo DiCaprio.