Copyright 2002 www.variety.com

[ February 21st 2002 ]

Producer Lawrence Gordon has signed an overall production pact with Stewart Till's Signpost Films. Under the terms of the deal, Gordon, who most recently produced "K-Pax" for Universal Pictures and Intermedia, will produce at least one film a year for the company, which in return will handle worldwide distribution on the projects.

Under the multi-year deal, Gordon also will receive some overhead coin and development funds, with Signpost arranging full financing for the pics, which Miramax Films will have a first look at distributing in the U.S. under Signpost's recently inked distribution deal with the company.

Certain pictures will be excluded under the Gordon/Signpost deal, including an in-the-works sequel to the Gordon-produced "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" for Paramount Pictures. "This is the one producer that I've been chasing since we started planning Signpost Films," Till said. "I am both honored and thrilled that Signpost now has this agreement with truly one of the world's top producers, not least because 'Field of Dreams' and 'Die Hard' are two of my top five films of all time."

The new deal with Gordon bolsters the London and L.A.-based company's roster of production deals. Till also has deals with two divisions of Mosaic: Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment and the Gold/Miller Co., both of whom have financing arrangements with MGM. Concerning whether he will be looking to ink similar deals with other top-level Hollywood producers, Till added: "There are no other producer deals in our sights at the moment. Our strategy is quality rather than quantity."

Gordon, who was formally housed at Universal Pictures for more than a decade, has produced such films as "48 Hrs.," "Predator," "Die Hard," "Field of Dreams" and "Boogie Nights." Signpost, headed by prexy and CEO Till, has been steadily building its executive roster and unveiling its business strategy over the past few months.

The deal with Miramax gives the distributor a first look in the U.S. to all of Signpost's projects, including a commitment to pick up a minimum number of movies per year and a minority stake in Till's company. Signpost was launched by Till, the former international president of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, in partnership with L.A.-based Mosaic Media Group and Canadian financier CDP Capital Communications.

Till has raised about $300 million in equity and debt, which will be used to finance six pics a year, and to launch local distribution operations in the major international territories. New venture plans to expand its output to up to 40 films in the first five years with an estimated production and distribution spend of over $2 billion.

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