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Thread: Eighth Wonder ups the ante with movie

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    Default Eighth Wonder ups the ante with movie

    Published November 30, 2006

    Eighth Wonder ups the ante with movie


    AND now, Harry's Island, The Movie.

    Presentation: A scene from the mini-movie shot as part of the Eighth Wonder consortium's $45 million Sentosa IR promotion package

    Eighth Wonder chairman Mark Advent said yesterday that if his consortium wins the bid to build Singapore's second integrated resort at Sentosa, he will bring to life the resort's fictional hero of the same name in a $240 million movie.

    The film would be produced and distributed by New Regency Productions, the same organisation which made LA Confidential, Fight Club and Mr & Mrs Smith.

    New Regency's partners include News Corporation's Fox Entertainment Group and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited's (PBL) Nine Network Australia. PBL is already an equity partner in Eighth Wonder's bid through its stake in consortium member Melco PBL Entertainment.

    The movie may not cost as much to make as the $340 million Titanic, but at $240, Harry's Island, The Movie, would cost the same as Mission Impossible III.

    This would be more than the $224 million cost of the 2001 film Pearl Harbor, which is still one of the most memorable cinematic flops to date.

    Asked if he thought it was risky to put the integrated resort's name at stake with this co-branding exercise, Mr Advent said: 'It's all about stepping up to the plate and putting our money where our mouth is.'

    To date, Mr Advent said the Eighth Wonder consortium has already spent $45 million in the two years it has taken to put its bid together. This includes a lavish mini-movie shot as part of its IR proposal package.

    Still on money, Mr Advent also announced for the first time that Credit Suisse would be its banker. 'We will put up a significant amount of equity but the loans will be arranged by Credit Suisse,' he said.

    This will come in useful especially as Mr Advent has decided to up the investment sum, already the largest among the three bidders at $5.5 billion, by an additional $100 million to make its aquarium bigger.

    Eighth Wonder will also spend an extra US$150 million marketing and promoting its movie which will have television and Internet tie-ins, and a treasure hunt with a US$25 million prize created by Dungeons & Dragons master Gary Gygax.

    Even more ambitious is the plan to have it all, including the movie premiere, kick-off on the day the resort opens.

    In Singapore to give details, Yariv Milchan, senior executive at Regency, said that creating the movie script could take a year in itself. He also said that the movie is expected to be made in Singapore and there are plans to build a separate film studio to do this. A film director has not been decided on, but Mr Milchan did say 'an A-list' male lead has expressed interest. But the lead, who will be cast in the mould of James Bond or Indiana Jones, will not be Asian, he said, ruling out Jackie Chan at least.

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    Default Re: Eighth Wonder ups the ante with movie

    Nov 30, 2006


    Harry's Island at cinemas worldwide?

    By Marcel Lee Pereira

    THEIR formal presentations may have ended yesterday, but the consortiums eyeing the integrated resort on Sentosa have not let up on their publicity blitzes just yet.

    Resort developer Eighth Wonder is on overdrive, averaging one announcement a day to introduce its big-name partners to the local media.

    Yesterday, it raised the curtain on the movie Harry's Island, a US$150 million (S$231 million) Hollywood action film it says will have a worldwide premiere to coincide with the opening of the proposed Harry's Island resort.

    MAKING A SPLASH: The Hollywood action movie's world premiere will coincide with the opening of the proposed Harry's Island. -- EIGHTH WONDER

    KERZNER'S WATER THRILLER: Kerzner-CapitaLand yesterday revealed attractive images of its 14-ride water park, Aquaventure.

    Mr Yariv Milchan, a senior executive from film production house Regency Enterprises, was rolled out to announce the movie, which he said has already attracted the interest of an A-list Hollywood star.

    The film would be based on the fictional adventurer Harry O'Brien, a character dreamed up by Eighth Wonder chief Mark Advent 12 years ago.

    New Regency Productions, part of Regency Enterprises, would produce the movie, filming it mainly in Singapore. The company has been responsible for box office successes like Fight Club and Mr & Mrs Smith.

    Apart from the US$150 million production costs, another US$150 million will go into marketing, merchandising and promotion efforts.

    'To integrate that with the whole (IR) project is something that has never been done before,' said Mr Milchan.

    Mr Advent claims the Government has shown interest in the character, who is born in Singapore.

    A worldwide launch of the film would benefit the IR, added Mr Milchan.

    'It will always be associated with the resort,' he said.

    Eighth Wonder and Regency would share the cost of producing the movie. This would be on top of the $5.5 billion for the resort.

    Costs are escalating for Eighth Wonder, which gets financing for the project from Swiss banking group Credit Suisse.

    The resort could end up costing more than $5.6 billion, including $130 million to enhance its 4.5-million-gallon Singapore Aquarium attraction.

    Yesterday, Eighth Wonder's partners like celebrity chef Alain Ducasse and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani were in town to shore up its presentation to the Government.

    Mr Giuliani's security company has a 10-year agreement with the bidder to act as its consultant on employee background checks, security features and disaster response.

    'I have done a lot of development projects as the mayor of New York. Given the way this project has been conceived and put together, it will become a reason, over and above all the other reasons, to come to Singapore,' he said.

    Today, Eighth Wonder is introducing Mr Marco Balich, who is behind the free nightly show it plans to hold in the resort's man-made caldera.

    Mr Balich was the creative mastermind behind the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games.

    Not to be outdone, Kerzner-CapitaLand yesterday unveiled colourful images of its 14-ride water park, Aquaventure.

    It is nine football fields in size and divided into four main areas for specific age groups.

    Thrill-seekers can slide through a tunnel in shark-infested waters or race each other down slides, while the faint-hearted can opt for a gentler 568m-long river ride. There are also mini-water slides just for children.

    The area could accommodate more than 5,000 people.

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    Sound like a damn stupid idea
    "[I]Never argue with an idiot, or he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience[/I]."

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