International Film Guarantors has pacted to provide completion bonds for two upcoming pics from Disney-based Spyglass Entertainment, “Shanghai Noon” and “Keeping the Faith.”
The two pics are the maiden productions of Spyglass, which was formed by execs Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber last year. Both pics begin shooting later this month.
The Western “Shanghai,” which stars Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, is directed by Tom Dey. Pic, which will lens in Canada, is the story of a Chinese man who has to perform a daring rescue in the Wild West.
“Faith,” meanwhile, is the directorial debut of Edward Norton. The romantic comedy stars Norton, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman in the story of how a lifelong friendship between a rabbi and a Catholic priest is threatened when they both fall in love with the same woman.
Spyglass, which co-finances or fully finances all its pics, has an output deal with Disney for North America, U.K., Australia and Latin America. The company currently has two overseas partners Ñ Eureka (the new European media alliance between Kirch and Mediaset) and ScandinaviaÕs Svensk Filmindustri. Spyglass has a distribution deal in Japan with Toho Towa (theatrical) and Pony Canyon (video).
Spyglass previously invested in the Disney productions “Instinct,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr., and “The Sixth Sense,” starring Bruce Willis. However, these pics were already in production when Spyglass launched. “Instinct” is skedded for release in the U.S. on June 4.
Strategic alliances between bond companies and independent producers are becoming more common, as studios increasingly require outside entities to pony up production coin. A completion bond is not normally necessary on a pic that is fully financed by a studio.
IFG is associated with insurance companies Near North National Group and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.