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Cuaron, Del Toro, and Gonzalez Inarritu ink 100 million dollar deal with Universal

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The directors that brought us Pan's Labyrinth, Babel, and Children of Men have now formed thier own production company called Cha Cha Cha. They have inked an 100 million dollar deal with Universal who will distribute thier upcoming films...




Universal plans to distribute the trio's films abroad. A U.S.-Canadian distributor was not named. The total cost of the films could reach $100 million, according to the Times.


The three have marketed themselves together since their stunning Oscar success.


Del Toro directed "Pan's Labyrinth," which won three Oscars and was nominated for six. Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel" was nominated in seven categories, including best picture and best director, and won for best original score. Cuaron's "Children of Men" was nominated in three categories.

Excellent. Kudos to Universal for backing three extremely talented individuals.:tu

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Here are the full details of the deal:


CANNES -- Universal Pictures and its specialty arm Focus Features have struck a deal to finance and sell a package of five movies to be made by the new independent production banner that's a partnership among the three Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu.


Moniker for the new venture is cha cha cha.


The five projects, some in Spanish and some in English, will include directorial efforts from each of the three partners, as well as movies from writer-directors Carlos Cuaron and Rodrigo Garcia. Creative control of the projects will remain with the filmmakers.


Universal will fully finance and co-own the five movies with the slate, which funded its own development of the projects. The combined budget of the slate is around $100 million.


Focus will handle international sales, with North American rights to be sold separately by the company, "as appropriate" for each individual film.


Focus Intl. has started pre-sales in Cannes on the first of these, Carlos Cuaron's "Rudo y Cursi," starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. Pic is in pre-production. The other four projects have already been identified, but have yet to be announced.


In a joint statement, Alfonso Cuaron, del Toro and Inarritu said, "We are proud to be not only part of the world cinema community, but also students of it. Universal and Focus are affording us a safe haven to keep doing the work we love as well as nurture other filmmakers."


Universal chairman Marc Shmuger, co-chairman David Linde and Focus CEO James Schamus said, "These extraordinarily gifted friends and colleagues have made some of the most essential films in recent years. Everyone at Universal is honored to be helping bring these productions to a global audience."




It's exciting news. I get the feeling, or at least I am hoping, that Universal is trying to re-establish itself in some ways by making baby steps in having made decisions like this. They've not really been a dominant force in moviemaking since Spielberg buggered off and set up Dreamworks, yet they have a good history of relationships with certain filmmakers (Spielberg and Hitchcock perhaps being the most infamous) and it’s encouraging to see a new chapter ushered in with this development. It’s great when a single studio throws its entire support behind one good filmmaker, let alone three!


I don't know if Hellboy 2 counts as one of these five movies (Universal now own the Hellboy rights). It would be nice if that is merely in addition to this deal which I shall assume it is.

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