Is this one 'ReThinkFilm'?
Ex-New Line exec to lead Bergstein's new companyIn the latest chapter of his troubled odyssey through Hollywood, film financier David Bergstein is forming a new Los Angeles-based company that will be headed by former New Line theatrical distribution president David Tuckerman.
The unnamed venture will consolidate several of Bergstein's existing companies under one roof, combining elements of indie distributor ThinkFilm and U.K.-based film sales outfit Capitol Films.
In addition to Tuckerman -- a free agent since Warner Bros. shut down New Line's distribution operation -- Bergstein has been meeting with other L.A.-based execs about joining his new team. The future of ThinkFilm and its six-person New York office is bleak. ThinkFilm has operated without a president since Mark Urman departed for Senator US on Oct. 1.
Bergstein did not return repeated calls, but according to sources familiar with the venture, the company would produce, acquire and distribute films -- from smaller documentaries, a ThinkFilm specialty, to larger-budgeted movies.
The initial slate is likely to include the Capitol-backed "Incendiary," starring Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor, which was set to be announced as a ThinkFilm release before non-payment lawsuits by vendors and others this summer sidelined those plans. David O. Russell's $33 million comedy "Nailed," which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel and which shut down production several times because of financial difficulties, might also go out through the outfit.
It's unclear how Bergstein plans to fund the company. But Tuckerman, who is expected to begin work at Bergstein's Century City offices on Monday, is said to have received assurances that the backing is solid.
Aside from construction magnate Ron Tutor, who purchased Capitol and ThinkFilm with Bergstein, one possible financing source is Aramid Entertainment Fund, the company behind the Viggo Mortensen Holocaust drama "Good," which ThinkFilm is scheduled to release this year. Aramid also financed Michael Winterbottom's "Genova," which has been tentatively slated as a ThinkFilm release.
The venture may also provide a home to a handful of other ThinkFilm titles. The company picked up North American rights to Rupert Wyatt's Sundance entry "The Escapist" for about $1 million in April, but rights to the project have since reverted to the producers. Other films, such as "$5 a Day," were being quietly shopped at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The remaining ThinkFilm execs -- senior vp Amanda Sherwin, vp acquisitions Ben Stambler, vp theatrical sales Michael Tuckman and vp publicity Alex Klenert -- may be invited to join the new venture, but the New York office is not expected to remain open.
The move is the latest unexpected twist in Bergstein's game plan. While he has amassed a library of about 1,000 films since acquiring Franchise Pictures in 2003, he also has been hit by several lawsuits and complaints from filmmakers and seen ThinkFilm's activities grind to a near halt.