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Solar Pictures inks deal for quartet of pics

Slate includes 'Dark Corners,' 'Jonestown,' 'Jet Black,' 'Girl Who Knew'

Newly minted production company Solar Pictures has closed deals to finance and produce a quartet of feature projects.

The inaugural slate includes “Dark Corners,” “Jonestown,” “Jet Black” and “The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” with shooting planned for early to mid-2013.

Solar launched in March with the goal of producing four to five movies a year with budgets up to $40 million. Romanian billionaire Bobby Paunescu and former Comerica exec Jared Underwood are the principal investors in Solar and serve as managing directors.

Solar Pictures represents intelligent, experienced capital with a mandate to build long-lasting partnerships,” said co-CEO Kearie Peak. “Our involvement with film projects and partners is heavily dependent on how smart the project is, its global viability, franchise potential and our collective passion for it.”

Solar Pictures is producing suspense-thriller “Dark Corners” with Peter Block (“House at the End of the Street”), Andy Gould (“Grindhouse”) and John Penotti (“Movie 43”); Tim Williams exec produces. Tom Shankland (“The Children”) will direct from a script by E.L. Katz and Tim Day.

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“Dark Corners” revolves around a beautiful blind college student who is tormented by a methodical killer who knows her well. She fights back by using her apparent weakness to her advantage.

The film will be shot at Mandragora Studios (a sister company to Solar Pictures) in Romania in the first quarter.

Solar is co-producing conspiracy-drama “Jonestown” with Maxime Remillard’s Remstar Corp. The film tells the story of a young idealist who is seduced into the cult by Jim Jones — and bears witness to possible government collusion in the mass suicide.

Solar will finance and produce the action-thriller “Jet Black” written by C. Taylor and John Morgan. Story centers on a private jet pilot who risks his life to investigate the suspicious downing of his brother’s plane.

Paunescu’s “The Girl Who Knew Too Much” will be folded into the Solar Pictures slate and produced with China Film Group Corp. Paunescu is writing and directing the suspense-thriller set in the international fashion world.

Peak, formerly Dean Devlin’s partner, is overseeing production. Co-CEO Christopher Taylor oversees business and corporate affairs.

Key investors in Solar are Edward Lawson Johnston, founder of the merchant bank LJ Group, and the New York-based Shu family.

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