Embattled Relativity Studios is considering selling off domestic distribution rights to its movie projects “The Crow” and “Hunter Killer” to STX Entertainment, Variety has learned.
The discussion comes as Relativity is scrambling to come up with the roughly $150 million it needs to repay its lenders in the next 10 days. The money was originally due on May 31, but Relativity worked out a 30-day extension with its lenders. It owes roughly $350 million to a consortium of investors that includes Colbeck Capital.
If Relativity fails to raise the money to pay the debt and does not get granted another extension, founder Ryan Kavanaugh could lose control of his company.
Relativity has retained FTI Consulting on behalf of its lenders to monitor operations until the debt situation is resolved. A source close to the company said that FTI is only involved in an advisory capacity and does not control any spending decisions.
Meanwhile, if Relativity were to strike a partnership deal with STX on “The Crow” and “Hunter Killer,” the start-up studio would oversee production and domestic distribution of the two films, leaving foreign rights with Relativity.
“We frequently have other studios approach us about partnering on some of our films which we have done several times in the past,” said Relativity president Tucker Tooley. “STX has recently approached us. Relativity Studios has no interest in selling ‘The Crow’ or ‘Hunter Killer’ outright and no deal has been reached.”
Both “The Crow,” an adaptation of the James O’Barr comic book series, and “Hunter Killer,” an action-thriller with Common and Billy Bob Thornton, are in pre-production. One potential complication is that “The Crow” lost its leading man, Jack Huston, earlier this week, after the actor dropped out of the production citing scheduling difficulties.
STX declined to comment for this story.
STX, which was launched last year by film producer Robert Simonds and TPG managing partner Bill McGlashan, is aggressively assembling projects as it looks to make good on its promise to produce as many 15 films annually by 2017. The studio has already has lined up a wide array of projects that includes “Free State of Jones” with Matthew McConaughey, “Secret in Their Eyes” with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Julia Roberts, and a big screen version of the popular Uglydoll toyline.