Because they've been responsible for Indiana Jones 4, Iron Man, and Kung Fu Panda — three of the highest-grossing movies in another record-busting year for Hollywood — we'd naturally assumed that Paramount was okay on money these days. As usual, though, we were completely wrong! The Financial Times reports today that the studio has just lost a deal for $450 million in financing that would've gone to pay for 30 upcoming movies, including surefire hits like J.J. Abrams's Star Trek reboot and Transformers 2. Apparently what happened is Paramount had been bargaining with Deutsche Bank for the funding, but walked away after failing to agree on terms of the loan. Then, in a possibly related story, Deutsche Bank decided to shutter its film financing unit.
Studio sources tell Nikki Finke that this isn't as awful as it sounds, and that Paramount will just seek financing for individual movies on a one-to-one basis from other partners, at least until the current credit apocalypse is over. But Finke also wonders how much the soured deal has to do with Paramount's upcoming divorce from DreamWorks, which, along with Marvel, has been responsible for most of the studio's recent big hits. We bet Deutsche Bank just found out about Paramount's sinister plans to put Shia LaBeouf in everything and, quite reasonably, decided to get out of the movie business.