Warner Bros. Signs First-Look Deal With Korean-Backed Production Company

Mike Karz, a producer of "Valentine's Day" and "Malibu's Most Wanted," launched Gulfstream Pictures with Bill Bindley

Warner Bros. has signed an exclusive first-look deal with Gulfstream Pictures, a new production and financing company run by Mike Karz and Bill Bindley.

The deal, which runs two years, calls for Gulfstream to co-finance the projects with Warners, which will distribute them worldwide.

“Mike and Bill have been valued members of the Warner family for a long time,” Greg Silverman, president of Production for Warner Bros. Pictures, said in a statement. “We're excited to extend our relationship to include Gulfstream and eagerly anticipate making more great movies together.”

Redrover LTD., a Korean 3D stereoscopic company, helped launch Gulfstream with a multi-million-dollar development fund, to which a consortium of U.S. private equity funds contributed as well. According to Karz, the ability to bring in their own financing helped expand its relationship with Warner Bros.

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“This opportunity is a historic step for the Korean film industry,” Hoe-jin Ha, CEO of Redrover, said in a statement. “We are very excited to set up this fund, supported by Warner Bros., and we look forward to co-financing many films through this partnership with Gulfstream.”

As Silverman alluded to, Karz has worked with the studio for some time, producing films such as “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve.”

"Given the Warners relationship, we knew that would be the best possible avenue and we just have a great relationship with everyone here," Bindley told TheWrap. 

Karz and Bindley are working on a pair of comedies with Warner at the moment, “West Texas United,” which will star Russell Brand, and “Say Uncle,” which Bindley is also attached to direct.

Gulfstream's first film will be "The Nut Job," a $45 million animated 3D movie it has been working on with Redrover for the past couple years. More animated fare should follow since Redrover has a studio in Toronto called ToonBox.

"The fact that our Korean partners have an animation studio, that immediately puts us into the animation space," Bindley said. "That's not just a good fit for the investors for Warner."

According to the Karz and Bindley, Gulfstream's focus, in keeping with Warner's overall strategy, will be making "tentpole movies that will attract stars."