Film studio STX has placed a subsidiary containing the rights to Gerard Butler’s 2020 film “Greenland” into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Filed Feb. 28 in Louisiana by ErosSTX President and General Counsel Noah Fogelson, the petition asks the bankruptcy court for relief in the form of time — time for STX to pay its creditors and find the capital to co-finance and co-produce. a sequel to the disaster movie, starring “Homeland” actress Morena Baccarin.
As FSO Jones LLC (a nod to one of STX’s first original films, Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Free State of Jones’), the bankruptcy filing lists ‘Greenland’ rights at 50 million in assets and up to $500 million in liabilities. As Variety previously reported, STX is in the midst of a selling process which includes private investment firm The Najafi Companies and, recently, contenders like Lionsgate.
“FSO Jones is the entity that owns the worldwide distribution rights to the sequel to our hugely successful film ‘Greenland’ both domestically and in international markets. While pre-production on this sequel is going well, we have determined that it is necessary for FSO Jones to seek bankruptcy relief in order to protect the value of this entity for all of our stakeholders as we continue to work. to the closure of our strategic alternatives for this company,” an STX spokesperson said. Variety.
Insiders familiar with STX said the bankruptcy filing was a strategic move to avoid a coup by the film’s co-producer Anton, a London-based film label that helped launch “Greenland.” Two of those insiders said Anton was trying to use the ongoing STX sale to end his rights to the film and move forward with a sequel as sole producer.
“Anton maintains and has always honored the existing agreement for the ‘Greenland’ sequel. Anton has never sought more than that for himself or his counterpart,” a representative for Anton said.
This scenario could have meant a big payday for Anton. “Greenland” starred Butler as a husband and father trying to outrun a planet-killing comet. The title outperformed on PVOD amid movie theater closures during the pandemic, earned nearly $50 million overseas and sold streaming rights to HBO Max at a profit. A sequel, “Greenland: Migration,” sold at Cannes last year for $75 million, with STX picking up domestic distribution.
The issues surrounding “Greenland” won’t affect other STX projects underway, a source close to the company said, including Jennifer Lopez’s crime drama “The Godmother” and Guy Ritchie’s “Operation Fortune.”
News of the Chapter 11 filing was first reported by Bloomberg Law. This report suggested that the production schedule for “Greenland: Migration” was now in jeopardy, although principal photography had yet to be scheduled (one source pegged it at the end of 2022). Representatives for Butler did not immediately comment on the matter.