German post-production giant Das Werk has bolstered its visual f/x offerings by acquiring Los Angeles-based Centropolis Effects from director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin’s Centropolis Entertainment.

As part of the deal, Emmerich and Devlin will receive shares in Frankfurt-based Das Werk, which boasts production deals with more than two dozen film ventures, among them Wim Wenders and Ulrich Felsberg’s production shingle Road Movies.

While CFX will continue to produce visual effects for major Hollywood studio pics, the relationship with Das Werk enables the company to expand its efforts to include commercials and musicvideos, as well.

Agreement calls for Emmerich to continue using Centropolis Effects for future projects, a Das Werk rep told Daily Variety. Devlin and Emmerich will also continue to sit on the board of CFX.

‘The next level’

“Roland and I have always wanted to expand CFX’s businesses on a global level to include commercials and musicvideos,” said Devlin. “With all of its resources and worldwide presence, Das Werk is the right partner to take CFX to the next level.”

Centropolis Effects, founded by Emmerich and Devlin in 1996, has predominantly served as Centropolis’ inhouse f/x facility, creating the visuals for the duo’s pics, including Fox’s “Independence Day” and Sony’s “The Patriot” and “Godzilla.” It has also created f/x shots for other pics, including Universal’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “End of Days” and Sony’s “Stuart Little.”

Company employs about 70 people and generated revenues of $11 million last year, earning about $2 million. It expects total revenues in 2001 to increase to $23 million.

Centropolis Effects prexy Mark Franco, head of production Aaron Dem and chief financial officer Amir Nasrabadi are expected to continue running the company.

Going global

Deal expands Das Werk’s rapidly growing global post-production network, with the company recently acquiring post facilities in the U.K., France and Spain. Agreement comes as Emmerich and Devlin’s production deal comes to a close at Sony.

Emmerich and Devlin are in the midst of hammering out a future for Centropolis’ production arm. The two have been considering disbanding, with Devlin taking over Centropolis Entertainment and Emmerich focusing on helming projects.

Centropolis Effects, Das Werk’s second U.S. acquisition, follows its purchase of a majority stake in Promark Entertainment late last year.

Company now owns the Spanish post-production house Crater Soft and En-Efecto, a majority stake in the U.K.’s Glasswork and a minority stake in France’s Mikros Image. In addition, Das Werk plans acquisitions in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy.