'Furry,' 'Crazies' pick up Imagenation cash

Abu Dhabi fund was set up in September

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CANNES -- A movie based on a George A. Romero's 1974 cult classic "The Crazies" and a Brendan Fraser family comedy dubbed "Furry Vengeance" will both benefit from cash from the $250 million movie fund created by Imagenation Abu Dhabi, owned by Abu Dhabi Media Co. and Participant Media.

The brace of high-profile projects are among the first two to benefit from the rolling fund set up in September.

The cashpool will partner on "The Crazies" with U.S. distributor and financier Overture Films, which will distribute in the U.S. and Canada. Paramount Vantage is on board to sell the picture, which details the story of the inhabitants of a small Iowa town beset by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. It stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson and is directed by Breck Eisner from a script by Ray Wright and Scott Kosar.

On the other side of the genre spectrum, the fund also plans to partner on "Furry" with Summit Entertainment. Summit will distribute in the U.S. and is handling worldwide sales. Starring Brendan Fraser as a man who uproots his family from the big city to launch a new housing subdivision in the Oregon wilderness, "Furry" is being directed by Roger Kumble from a script by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert.

Both titles are being sold internationally at Cannes.

"We are very pleased that our partnership with Participant is off to such a strong start with these two films representing completely different genres," Imagenation Abu Dhabi CEO Ed Borgerding said. "The speed in which this fund has become a reality and the robust pipeline of projects in development bodes very well for our collaboration."

Added Participant Media CEO Jim Berk: "This partnership allows us to move aggressively in the development, production and release of quality feature films."