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After Redford pact, Eureka Cruising U.S.

With 'Vance' bagged, Euro alliance talking to C/W

After inking a three-year production and development deal with Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises (Daily Variety, May 14), the new European alliance Eureka is in talks to co-finance an unspecified big-budget project from Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s C/W Prods.

A partnership between Germany’s Kirch Group and Italy’s Mediaset and Medusa Films, Eureka plans initially to co-finance 15 Hollywood pics a year with budgets of more than $60 million, rising to 25 pics a year.

Eureka president Jan Mojto, speaking at a reception at the Hotel du Cap, said the venture will invest $150 million-$200 million in U.S. production this year, and up to $500 million in future years.

It already has long-term relationships with Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum’s Spyglass Entertainment, and is actively seeking more overall deals in Hollywood, particularly with talent-led companies such as Redford’s Wildwood or Cruise’s C/W.

The deal with Wildwood follows Eureka’s agreement to co-finance Redford’s “The Legend of Bagger Vance” with DreamWorks and Icon Entertainment Intl. Eureka is investing $23 million of the pic’s $70 million budget in return for continental European rights.

Mojto said Eureka would typically invest a minimum of 20% of a film’s budget for German, Italian and Spanish rights, rising to 55% for all international rights.

Also attending the Hotel du Cap reception were Medusa president Carlo Bernasconi and chief exec Federico di Chio; Mediaset managing director Maurizio Carlotti; Wildwood prexy Michael Nozik; “Bagger Vance” producer Jake Eberts; and Tarak Ben Ammar, who reps Saudi prince Al Waleed bin Talal, an investor in both Kirch and Mediaset.

Milchan and his “Entrapment” star Sean Connery also put in an appearance. “Entrapment” is the first film produced under Milchan’s relationship with Eureka.

Separately, Medusa announced that exec VP Marco Chiminez is leaving after three years as head of its Los Angeles office. The company has appointed Clare McArdle, previously in Medusa’s Rome office, as VP of acquisitions and sales to take over his Hollywood duties.

(Benedict Carver contributed to this report).