Reliance Big Entertainment to enter Hollywood, unveils mega plans

MUMBAI: Anil Ambani has announced big plans to enter Hollywood movies. Reliance Big Entertainment, the media and entertainment company of the Reliance ADA Group, has inked a string of "development deals" with Hollywood talent: Nicolas Cage‘s Saturn Productions, Jim Carrey‘s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney‘s Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus‘ 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks‘ Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment, and Jay Roach‘s Everyman Pictures.

The deals provide for the creation of a development silo for each of the production entities. They also carry the possibility of Reliance co-financing projects that emanate from these these deals.

Reliance Big Picture, the division of Reliance Big Entertainment that will focus on media investments outside of India, sees the development deals as the first major building block in the creation of a virtual studio, or new-generation media company.

Reliance Big Entertainment chairman Amit Khanna said, "Reliance Entertainment has a dominant position in India but, when it comes to motion pictures, it has been obvious that we need to extend our footprint to Hollywood. We are pleased to have devised this unique method of investing, whereby Reliance Big Picture can help advance the goals of several of the most important creators in the global industry. I expect to have further such development deals in the near future".

The deals are part of Reliance Entertainment‘s long-term strategy for media investments in Hollywood, as it aims to build a fully integrated movie company with substantial holdings in production, distribution and exhibition.

The deals also secure Indian rights for resulting films which Reliance co-finances. Additionally, Reliance expects to attract suitable productions, with appropriate incentives to India.

Reliance Big Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney, "We are totally respectful of the existing first-look deals that each of our partners enjoys, and are confident that the respective studios will welcome our development silos and our subsequent co-financing ability. We are breaking completely new ground and not just as an Indian-based company".

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) was instrumental in brokering the deals and is advising Reliance Big Entertainment on its Hollywood strategy.

The Hollywood announcement came soon after Reliance unveiled its 69-film two-year plans at Cannes on Friday.

Earlier this year, US-based billionaire investor George Soros picked up 3 per cent stake in Reliance Entertainment for $100 million.

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