Ex-Paramount President Adam Goodman Negotiating China Backing for Film Venture (Exclusive)

2012-15 BIZ Exec Suite Adam Goodman Web

Goodman could expand his relationship with Le Vision's Los Angeles outpost down the road.

Former Paramount Pictures president Adam Goodman is the latest Hollywood executive looking to China to script his second act.

Zhang Zhao's flush Le Vision Pictures, one of the largest Chinese film production and distribution companies, is in talks to provide production financing for Goodman's nascent film venture, Dichotomy, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Specifically, Le Vision would back Goodman's plan to make microbudgeted films using a unique financing structure.; the financing would not cover bigger-budget projects he initiates. (Goodman was a driving force behind Paramount's microbudget Paranormal Activity series).

Le Vision and Goodman declined comment. Goodman, who departed as president of Paramount's Motion Picture Group in February 2015, launched Dichotomy in November. The financing from Le Vision would be complimentary to Goodman's continued first-look deal at Paramount.

The negotiations, which are said to be in an advanced stage, come as Le Vision's Los Angeles office also looks to partner with U.S. studios and other film companies on big-budget, English-language co-productions telling Chinese stories. Le Vision is interested in hiring a veteran Hollywood film executive to spearhead those efforts, and Goodman could make an ideal fit should the two decide to expand their relationship beyond the pending financing pact.

Founded in 2011, Le Vision's releases at the China box office include the blockbuster Tiny Times franchise, The Expendables series and The Bullet Vanishes. And in December, Le Vision and Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment will roll out The Great Wall, the biggest U.S.-China co-production to date. With an estimated budget of $160 million, the 3D fantasy-action spectacle is directed by Zhang Yimou — who serves as Le Vision's artistic director — and stars Matt Damon, Andy Lau and Willem Dafoe, along with a long list of China’s hottest young talent (the U.S. release follows on Feb. 17, 2017).

Le Vision is a subsidiary of Beijing-based technology company LeEco, whose diverse business interests span online video services, e-commerce, smart TVs, virtual reality, mobile phones and even an internet-connected electric car named LeSEE, which has been touted as China’s answer to Tesla. LeEco is in the process of merging Le Vision Pictures with its publicly listed streaming video unit, Leshi. The deal, which is pending Chinese regulatory approval, values Le Vision at $1.5 billion. 

Last November, Zhao hosted a gathering in Los Angeles announcing 10 English-language co-productions, including Rise of the Great Warriors, to be directed by Ronny Yu (Fearless), and The Valley Life, based on a best-selling Chinese online novel about expat programmers and engineers in Silicon Valley.

Goodman has yet to reveal his first slate of films.

China money continues to flow into Hollywood. Earlier on Thursday, U.S.-Chinese company Tang Media Partners announced it has acquired a controlling stake in Stuart Ford's IM Global, a leading financing, foreign sales and production company. In a twinned move, IM Global and TMP are teaming with Chinese tech giant Tencent on a new television production joint venture that will be operated by IM Global's TV banner. The investments in IM Global are said to be valued at $200 million.

Patrick Brzeski contributed to this report.