Mumbai: Reliance Big Entertainment, a unit of Anil Ambani’s ADA Group, said on Friday it has signed development deals with Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films and Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment, expanding its Hollywood presence.
Reliance Entertainment, which last September signed a deal with DreamWorks SKG for a new $1.2 billion film company, also has separate deals with seven Hollywood production houses run by A-list actors, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks.
Reliance ADAG, which also has interests in telecom, financial services and energy in India, may co-finance projects with the nine Hollywood production houses, according to a statement.
There is “a handpicked slate in excess of 20 projects” between the nine production houses, and most of these will generate content during 2009, said the statement, which did not disclose financial details of the new deals.
“Our foray into Hollywood has proven very productive on the development front, and we are now looking forward to moving into the filmmaking stage over the coming months,” Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment, said in the statement.
Los Angeles-based Creative Artists Agency was “instrumental in brokering the deals” and is advising Reliance Big Entertainment on its Hollywood strategy, it said.
For the Hollywood studios, Reliance ADAG provides a growing presence in production, distribution and exhibition in India.
Billionaire investor George Soros last year paid $100 million for a small stake in Reliance Entertainment, and its venture with DreamWorks SKG will start shooting films by the summer.
Walt Disney Studios, Viacom Inc, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and News Corp’s Fox Star Studios all have local co-production deals in India.
Revenues from India’s film industry, the world’s most prolific, is forecast to rise to about $4 billion by 2012.