DreamWorks is in Trouble, May Partner with Disney Instead?!
Did you ever think you'd see the day when DreamWorks and Disney would be working together? Wait, we mean Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks, not DreamWorks Animation. Back in October, DreamWorks officially ended their relations with Paramount and split from the company. They did so because they had received nearly half a billion in funding from an India based company called Reliance Big Entertainment and was asssured that Universal would partner with them instead. Bad news - Universal has pulled out of the distribution agreement. And we hear DreamWorks is secretly talking with Disney instead!
This news comes from the always reliable industry insider Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood. Apparently due to the recession, DreamWorks didn't get all the initial funding they needed from Reliance, and thus have tried to scramble to renegotiate their distribution deal with Universal to get things up to speed. Universal didn't like those changes and decided to cut it off before it got any worse. So when that happened, DreamWorks started talking with Disney instead. Disney, which had been an original suitor for a distribution deal, would provide P&A funds, pay-cable slots and possible production co-financing for six movies.
Since this news just hit today, DreamWorks hasn't had time to figure out what they're going to do, so we don't know if they'll renegotiate with Universal or end up going with Disney in the end. Nikki Finke even speculates that Disney may sell off Miramax in order to pull off a deal, since it sounds like they want a stake in DW. In an extreme scenario, we could see DreamWorks partnering with both Universal and Disney, but at that point, everything would be so complicated that we wouldn't even know where to begin in explaining it. For now, this is a very interesting and scary situation that DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg are in.