Astrablu picks up Betzer estate, films


Four years after his death, Danish producer Just Betzer's estate has been sold to Astrablu Media for an undisclosed amount.

Astrablu's acquisition encompasses Betzer's Panorama Films International and film library, including his 1988 Oscar-winning "Babette's Feast," which won for best foreign language film.

The Las Vegas-based indie production company's deal also includes a slate of literary properties in development before Betzer died of a heart attack in November 2003. He was 59.

"The acquisition of the beloved 'Babette's Feast' and the other titles, in conjunction with the development of our high-profile properties, allows us to aggressively expand our production slate," said Astrablu's president and CEO Josi Konski. "Just Betzer was not only a partner but a great friend with a keen eye for quality projects whose vision I highly respected."

Among the literary titles included in the deal are "Jailbird," based on Kurt Vonnegut's novel with a screenplay penned by Buck Henry; "Last Lovers," based on the William Wharton novel; and "Marilyn," based on the diary of Danish journalist Hans Jorgen Lembourn and his 40-day love affair with Marilyn Monroe.

The acquisition was negotiated by Astrablu's vp production Benni Korzen, European production partner Nina Crone and attorneys David Hutchinson for Astrablu and Michael Vilhelm Nielsen in Copenhagen for the Betzer estate.

Astrablu's latest production, "National Lampoon's Cattle Call," is set for release in March through Lionsgate.