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LivePlanet film unit takes final bow

Company making changes, moving on

The film unit of LivePlanet, the multimedia company formed eight years ago by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Sean Bailey, is shuttering; its deal with Disney ended Dec. 31.

Bailey has formed Idealogy Inc. and made a deal at Disney that runs through 2010. He will take over all of the scripted film projects launched through LivePlanet.

LivePlanet CEO Larry Tanz will exit the company shortly. Exec Keith Quinn will remain behind to shepherd several TV, documentary and new media projects under the LivePlanet banner.

“When the deal concluded, this seemed a natural evolution,” said Bailey. “Ben’s now a filmmaker and an actor, and Matt has been working quite a bit. I wanted to continue to grow a production company, but I hope and expect that we will still work together on projects.”

Idealogy Inc. starts with a full film slate that includes a Joe Kosinski-directed “Tron” remake ready to go into production; Bailey will produce with Steve Lisberger. Also nearly ready for lensing is “Liberty,” a contemporary action project Bailey wrote with Andrew Marlowe and Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

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Also on tap is Jennifer Garner starrer “Sabbatical,” a project Bailey will produce with Chuck Weinstock, Garner and Juliana Janes. The John Brownlow-scripted thriller concerns a married couple who scratch their seven-year itch by taking an indulgent two-week hiatus.Formed in 2000 with the goal of mixing entertainment with new media and branding, LivePlanet started with several ambitious interactive projects that didn’t quite hit, including ABC’s “The Runner,” a real-time show with audiences vying for a cash prize; and “Push, Nevada,” also on ABC.

More successful was “Project Greenlight,” which aired on HBO and then Bravo. With LivePlanet co-founder Chris Moore playing a heavy who berated baby filmmakers to stay on budget, the show lasted three seasons and hatched three films distributed by Miramax.

LivePlanet evolved into a satellite company that Bailey, Affleck and Damon would return to when not engaged in their own projects.

Affleck and Damon haven’t made new producing deals.

Affleck made his directorial debut with “Gone Baby Gone,” which he also produced with Bailey. Affleck will next star in “State of Play.”

Damon next stars for director Paul Greengrass in Universal’s untitled Green Zone Iraq war drama and then reunites with “Ocean’s Thirteen” helmer Steven Soderbergh on “The Informant.” The thesp also produced, with Tanz, “Running the Sahara,” a James Moll-directed docu that Damon narrated about three world-class distance runners who cross the Sahara Desert. Distribution’s being finalized for an April release.

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