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Jeff Robinov Explores Partnership With Producer Graham King (Exclusive)

Jeff Robinov Graham King Split - H 2013
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Jeff Robinov, Graham King

The ex-Warner Bros. film chief has pitched a potential alliance with the "Town" and "Departed" producer, with financing arranged by Steven Mnuchin of OneWest Bank and Dune Capital Management.

Former Warner Bros. film studio chief Jeff Robinov is exploring the idea of creating a new production company with producer Graham King, with possible financing arranged by Steven Mnuchin, the chairman and CEO of OneWest Bank Group and Dune Capital Management, according to industry sources.

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The potential partnership, which is being characterized as one of several proposals being put forth by Robinov in the wake of his June exit from Warner Bros., would seek to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for film production.

With credits including Warners releases The Town, The Departed and Argo, King has a long-standing relationship with Robinov. The two already have met with Sony Pictures chiefs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, two longtime Robinov friends, and are arranging meetings with other studios and other potential sources of financing, sources say. Paramount and CAA are on Robinov's upcoming meeting list.

Sony might be a good fit for a new financing entity, though the studio already is in negotiations with a vehicle called Blue Anchor Entertainment that could bring it about $300 million in equity financing over a three-year term. The studio recently brought in Tom Rothman, another ousted film studio chief (at 20th Century Fox), to run a revamped TriStar label.

Sony declined to comment.

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Robinov's plans since he was pushed out at Warners have been the subject of intense speculation around Hollywood because he maintains strong relationships with filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Ben Affleck and the Wachowski siblings. Those relationships, as well as Robinov's experience running a major film studio, could be attractive to financiers. "He's a hot property right now, and he's meeting with everyone," says one entertainment finance expert.

King's company, GK Films, has suffered financial setbacks in recent years, notably because of losses incurred by way of Martin Scorsese's costly Hugo. An alliance with Robinov could help him attract new financing.

Though many in the industry expected Robinov to take a high-level executive position at the Fox film studio, talks there have so far proved fruitless. Sources say Robinov wanted far greater power than chairman Jim Gianopulos was prepared to give him. But industry insiders say that should Robinov find that raising financing is troublesome and he is willing to accept a less elevated position, he could circle back to Fox.

Neither Robinov nor King responded to a request for comment.

E-mail: Kim.Masters@THR.com
Twitter: @KimMasters