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RedBird Capital backs production venture from Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are launching a production company with financial backing from private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners.

Ben Affleck

Artists Equity is an LA-based venture that aims to give filmmakers backend participation in their projects, a revenue stream that has become increasingly infrequent in the streaming era.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but reports peg the investment at more than US$100m. RedBird Capital, which last year was part of a group of investors that acquired a minority stake in Maverick Carter and LeBron James’s The Springhill Company, said their investment will be used to accelerate the company’s development and production pipeline.

The first project to be released by the company is a film about the creation of the Air Jordan footwear brand, set to be released in 2023 in partnership with Amazon Studios, Skydance and Mandalay Pictures. Damon and Affleck will star in the film, with the latter also directing.

Matt Damon

Artists Equity plans to release three projects in 2023 and after that it will release at least five projects annually.

Affleck will serve as CEO, with Damon is chief creative officer. Michael Joe, who was formerly chief operating officer at STX Films and executive VP at Universal Pictures, will serve as chief operating officer.

“Our goal with Artists Equity is to build a creator-focused studio that can optimise the production process with shared participation in the commercial success of projects,” said Affleck.

“We are thrilled to partner with [Redbird founder and managing partner] Gerry Cardinale and the RedBird team, who have a long track record of building notable scaled platform businesses around unique IP. Matt and I are looking forward to working together to empower the current and future creative minds in the entertainment industry.”

Damon added: “Artists Equity enables these visionaries to take ownership of their creative power, providing a platform for both established and emerging filmmakers to streamline the development of their content.”

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