DreamWorks Near Bollywood Alliance

Deal would speed Spielberg team's Paramount departure
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 10:09 AM CDT
'Transformers' was a big hit for DreamWorks and Paramount but box-office duds like 'The Island' helpd sour the relationship between the two.   (AP Photo/DreamWorks)
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(Newser) – Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks venture is closing in on a deal with an Indian media conglomerate that could fund a break from Paramount Pictures, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mumbai-based Reliance, a conglomerate with stakes in telecom, finance, and entertainment looking to expand into Hollywood, could bring as much as $600 million. The Spielberg team's relations with Paramount have grown chilly recently.

A flashpoint in the feud came when the head of Paramount parent Viacom said in September that a DreamWorks departure would be "completely immaterial" to Viacom—further angering Spielberg and partner David Geffen, already bridling over sleights from above. Reliance, meanwhile, plans a $1 billion outlay in Hollywood over the next 18 months, signing production deals with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and others.