Rhythm & Hues Seeks Judge's Approval of $5M to Finish 'Seventh Son'

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Rhythm & Hues, the VFX house that filed bankruptcy last week, filed an emergency motion on Tuesday over Seventh Son, a medieval adventure film starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore that's being produced by Legendary Pictures.

Last week, Rhythm & Hues got a bankruptcy judge's interim approval of $17 million in loans from Universal and Fox so as to keep afloat and continue working on those studio's films.

The money didn't cover Seventh Son, which is slated for release in October.

Legendary Pictures is willing to put up an additional $4,961,751, paid in installments, to get VFX work done on the film. Rhythm & Hues is seeking approval for a "change order" on continued work on the picture.

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Seventh Son represents a special project for the bankrupt VFX house. It's the third film, after 2010's Yogi Bear 3D and Hop, where Rhythm & Hues acts as a co-investor/co-producer. The agreement that was signed in March 2010 with Legendary Pictures entitles Rhythm & Hues to participation in the box office performance of Seventh Son, but contingent upon actually finishing work.

Thus far, work is behind schedule.

Rhythm & Hues was originally scheduled to deliver 247 "shots" by Dec. 7.  Instead, by that date, only 56 had been delivered on a "final" basis.

Afterwards, Legendary agreed to lower the number of shots to be delivered to 225.

According to the emergency motion filed on Tuesday, "Although only approximately 25 percent of the shots have been delivered, many, if not substantially all, of the others are in various stages of completion such that R&H believes it can meet the terms of the Change Order."

Rhythm & Hues says the Change Order is arguably in the ordinary course of business and that it could proceed without a bankruptcy court's approval, but because the work is conditioned on Legendary's nearly $5 million payment, it is requesting the green light.

The motion also states, "The funding will also allow the Debtor to complete the Project, thus forestalling a potentially large breach claim from Legendary, allow the Debtor to maintain the continuity of its operations, make payments to certain employees on account of pre-petition wages owing, and make a $1.1 million contribution to the overhead costs of the company, thus reducing the amount of DIP Loan proceeds required."

According to the company's lawyers, there's approximately 56 people dedicated to the Seventh Son project, who were not among the 250 people who were laid off from Rhythm & Hues' workforce last week.

If Rhythm & Hues gets a judge's blessing this week, the company believes it can deliver the remaining shots by April 12.

The film is adapted from Joseph Delaney's children's dark fantasy novel series The Wardstone Chronicles. It is directed by Sergei Bodrov.

E-mail: eriq.gardner@thr.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner

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