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Bob Berney in talks with producer Graham King to head new distribution unit

June 14, 2010 |  2:33 pm

Producer Graham King plans to launch a theatrical distribution division and is in negotiations to bring Bob Berney aboard to head the operation, according to a person familiar with the talks.

Berney, a veteran independent film distributor known for innovative campaigns for such movies as "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "Memento" and "The Passion of the Christ," surprised many in May when he abruptly resigned from Apparition, the distribution company he founded after his previous employer, Warner Independent Pictures, was shut down by Warner Bros.

Berney King has told associates for some time that he wanted to start his own distribution company to fill a void in the market after most studios abandoned releasing independently made movies.

King launched his independent production company, GK Films, in 2007, backed by his oil business partner, Tim Headington. It is unclear how his new distribution business, to be named GK Distribution, will impact the multi-year deal that the producer signed earlier this year with Sony Pictures. Last week, Sony executive Peter Schlessel announced he was leaving the studio to join GK Films as president.

King just wrapped production on Sony's big-budget movie, "The Tourist," starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

King, who won the 2007 best picture Oscar for "The Departed," has been in talks with Berney in recent weeks and is hoping to conclude a deal shortly, said the person close to the matter. But, as of now, there is still no signed contract, the person said.

Neither King nor Berney could not be reached for immediate comment.

-- Claudia Eller

Photo: Bob Berney. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times


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