Brett Ratner Partners With Australian Billionaire for Film Venture (Exclusive)

UP: Brett Ratner
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Enough with the jokes about the "Rush Hour" director's anointment as Academy Awards producer (with Don Mischer). Ratner could breathe some much-needed life into the stodgy Oscarcast, and do the naysayers really think he's going to blow up the stage?

RatPac Entertainment will be a joint venture between the U.S. director and Aussie mogul James Packer.

Australian billionaire James Packer is entering the film business, partnering with director Brett Ratner to form RatPac Entertainment.

Packer -- who is the chairman of Crown Limited, a massive resort and entertainment group Down Under -- is backing the company, which will develop, produce and finance films. His father was the late Australian media mogul Kerry Packer.

RatPac plans not only to produce and finance independent films but aims to partner with studios to co-finance tentpole-type projects.

The duo have zeroed in on two undisclosed projects that will be co-financed.

“We intend to build a major independent film company that not only has the ability to fully finance its films but which also offers creative independence for its filmmakers," Ratner tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

Ratner is producing Horrible Bosses 2 and the animated Hong Kong Phooey, which has Eddie Murphy attached to star. He also is prepping his next directorial project, Hercules, which is an MGM and Paramount co-production that has Dwayne Johnson attached.

This is not the first time that Packer habs been involved in the film biz. He and his father, the late media mogul Kerry Packer, ran entertainment concern Publishing and Broadcasting Limited which had a 25% stake in New Regency for many years.


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