CEC gets into 'Spirit' for financing

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Specialty finance and investment company Continental Entertainment Capital has signed on to partially finance "Will Eisner's The Spirit," now in postproduction for Odd Lot Entertainment and Lionsgate.

CEC, an affiliate of Citi, partnered with funds managed by Qualia Capital to provide partial production and distribution financing for Odd Lot, which has sold most international territories for the film, including a multiterritory deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group.

Frank Miller directed "Spirit" and penned the screenplay based on the comic by Will Eisner about a rookie cop (Gabriel Macht) who returns from the dead to fight crime from the shadows of Central City.

Odd Lot COO Bill Lischak structured and negotiated the deal. The company declined to reveal how much CEC financed.

"With 'Will Eisner's The Spirit,' we believe in the producing capability, judgment and business acumen of Odd Lot, the creative genius of Frank Miller as well as the great cast involved in this exciting project," said D. Jeffrey Andrick, CEC's managing director and head of its Los Angeles office.

The film's cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Jaime King and Samuel L. Jackson and is set for release in the U.S. and U.K. on Jan. 16, 2009.
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