Brett Ratner Says He's Expanding Into Cable TV Production

4:41 PM PST 03/08/2014 by Jonathan Handel
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

UPDATED: The filmmaker/mogul is doing a joint venture with an unnamed cable network.

Filmmaker and emerging mogul Brett Ratner disclosed Saturday that he's moving into cable TV production. "I'm about to close a joint venture with a cable network," Ratner said in passing at a UCLA conference, adding that he would be deficit-financing the programming.

Ratner is doing the deal through RatPac Entertainment, his partnership with Australian billionaire James Packer that supplies $450 million in film slate financing to Warner Bros. "TV is a big focus for us over the next few years," Ratner said, referencing the company, before then mentioning the new deal.

The deal is expected to close in a few weeks, Ratner told The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview after this article originally appeared.

No other details were revealed. Ratner's comments came at a film finance panel at the 38th annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium, hosted by the UCLA School of Law. The event featured a keynote interview of Harvey Weinstein by Ken Ziffren.

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A spokesperson for RatPac did not respond to a request for comment.

Ratner also spoke about his company's deal with Warner Bros., saying that he had reviewed 25 film projects (of the 75 that the deal is expected to ultimately fund) and that he knew 99 percent of the directors and actors attached. We "go by our gut," said Ratner, contrasting his style with the data-driven Ryan Kavanaugh, "who says he has a black box." (Ratner acknowledged that consultant Roy Salter also helps do analysis of prospective films for RatPac-Dune.)

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"We invest in the company; we bet on the people," said Ratner, who praised Warner Bros.' chief Kevin Tsujihara as "incredibly smart." The deal with Warner Bros. "was meant to be," said Ratner, using the Yiddish word "bashert" (fate or destiny) and pointing to the first film released under the deal, the blockbuster Gravity.

In addition, RatPac Entertainment also helped finance the move of Brad Pitt's company Plan B from Paramount to New Regency.

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