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David Linde seeks backing from Universal and Reliance for new venture

October 7, 2010 |  6:17 pm

Former Universal Pictures co-Chairman David Linde is in negotiations with his former studio and India's entertainment giant Reliance ADA to become partners in his soon-to-launch production company Lava Bear Films, people with knowledge of the talks confirmed.Linde

Reliance, which has been expanding its presence in Hollywood and owns half of  Steven Spielberg's production company DreamWorks and a chain of theaters and post-production facilities in the U.S., would become a major equity investor in Linde's new production company.

Universal Pictures would give Linde a nonexclusive production deal and distribute his company's movies domestically and in select international territories. Linde is also in talks with independent foreign distributors to handle the release of his pictures in key overseas markets. A person familiar with the matter said Linde plans to make up to four movies a year.

Linde, who along with Universal co-Chairman Marc Shmuger was fired a year ago this week from Universal after a prolonged box-office slump, is expected to formally announce his new company and backers by year-end.

News of the negotiations were first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

-- Claudia Eller 

Photo: David Linde by Alex Berliner