In a deal valued at $100 million, German licensing company VCL Film & Medien has taken international rights on the next three films from Woody Allen over the next three years.
VCL will co-finance the films, which are expected to be budgeted in the $25 million range. Domestic distribution for the pics is already in place with DreamWorks, which also released Allen’s most recent film, “Small Time Crooks.” Allen expects to begin production on his next film this fall.
The DreamWorks deal closed shortly after Allen ended his relationship with producer Jean Doumanian’s Sweetland Films (Daily Variety, March 17). However, under the DreamWorks-VCL arrangement Allen still retains the same creative control he enjoyed under his previous productions.
In recent weeks, VCL has made a number of deals that are expanding the company from its core video business in Germany to become an international licensing player.
Last month, VCL struck a deal with Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope to handle extensive foreign rights on 10 pictures being developed by Zoetrope for MGM.
VCL has also entered a venture with Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna’s C-2 Pictures to co-finance the next two “Terminator” films.
The deal was structured by Rena Ronson of WMA Independents, the indie arm of the William Morris Agency headed by Cassian Elwes, and by attorney Irwin Tenenbaum and business manager Stephen Tenenbaum of Tenenbaum & Tenenbaum. Allen is repped by John Burnham at WMA. Repping VCL were Datty Ruth, Stefan Radtke and Willi Baer.