James Packer's foray into the movie world begins with Warner Bros.
James Packer's long-mooted foray into the film business has become reality, with Hollywood studio Warner Bros Pictures announcing it has signed a multi-year deal to make as many as 75 movies with RatPac-Dune Entertainment.
RatPac is the company Mr Packer founded last December with Hollywood producer-director Brett Ratner, and Steven Mnuchin, the principal of private investment company Dune Capital Management.
The deal covers co-financing on upcoming releases Gravity, which opens in Australia this week, and Grudge Match, which is slated to open on January 30.
Brett Ratner. Photo: Getty Images
Warners did not put a value on the deal, but trade papers report it as being worth about $450 million in financing to the studio. The deal gives RatPac a stake in ''films from all genres and all budgets, including studio tentpole releases based on iconic franchises''.
Warner Bros owns DC Comics, which includes Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. It also owns the Harry Potter franchise.
Author J.K. Rowling recently announced she was writing a screenplay for a film based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,, a textbook that features in the Potter books. Warner Bros will produce the film.
Mr Packer's personal wealth was put at $6 billion by BRW in May, and he has long counted Hollywood royalty such as Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe among his closest friends. Though this is his first foray into Hollywood financing, he would appear to be in good hands.
Brett Ratner, 44, is the producer of the Snow White reboot Mirror Mirror, the indie flick Catfish and the comedy hit Horrible Bosses. He is also the director of the three Rush Hour films and the Marvel Comics adaptation X-Men: The Last Stand.
Less salubriously, he was slated to produce the 84th Academy Awards but resigned amid scandal in November 2011 after remarking that ''rehearsal is for fags'' (the telecast's host, Eddie Murphy, resigned in support the following day, to be replaced by Billy Crystal).
Mr Mnuchin's Dune Entertainment has production credits that include the highest-grossing movie in history, Avatar, and Oscar-winners Black Swan, Life of Pi and Lincoln. Its forthcoming films include Batman vs Superman and Avatar 2.