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Studio, Marshall cancel plans for films
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Moon River Studios’ agreement with director Penny Marshall for two films has been shelved, according to information the company provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The two parties agreed to cancel the two-picture deal between Moon River and Marshall and in a filing Friday with the SEC, the studio has started a new round of discussions with Marshall’s representatives about directing or producing “Effa” and other projects to be filmed with the company in coastal Georgia.

The parties have agreed to “use reasonable endeavors” to negotiate an agreement within 90 days with the intention of future motion picture development involving Marshall and her production companies.

As part of the agreement to nix the deal, Marshall will return the more than 7 million shares of FONU2 stock issued to her. The studio also will transfer ownership of the screenplay option on “Effa” to Nutmeg Productions. Marshall is the chairman of Nutmeg Productions and of Parkway Productions.

The studio announced in December 2014 a two-picture deal with Marshall, including the movie “Effa,” the biopic on Effa Manley, who was the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Marshall’s directing credits include “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”

Also last Wednesday, the company’s board of directors authorized the issuance of 35,000,000 restricted and unregistered common shares of stock to Robert Duvall, the company’s vice president of rentals, with a total value of $7,000 as a stock payment under his employment agreement. These shares will be issued at a future date when the company has sufficient reserve to process the issuance.

FONU2 also signed a settlement agreement last month with Mammoth Corporation about an Aug. 28 complaint against Moon River Studios and FONU2 board chairman Jake Shapiro. The company signed a convertible promissory note for $140,000, and the note bears no interest, unless it goes into default.

Under the agreement, the company will pay a monthly principal, with $15,000 due no later than Dec. 1. The remaining $25,000 payments will be made by Jan. 1, Feb. 1, March 1 and April 1 of next year.

The studio entered into a revised agreement with the Effingham Industrial Development Authority last month, with the lease for the land off Interstate 16 and Old River Road being cut from more than 1,500 acres to 51 acres. As a result, the lease payments were slashed from $555,000 to $51,000 annually. The company’s capital investment requirement also was cut from $90 million over five years to $10 million.

Though the studio won’t have control over the rest of the property, it will have access to it for shooting and back lots, as long as it is not in use.
The IDA also will be responsible for all construction costs of the roads and water lines to the first phase. Phase one of the reworked master plan calls for 10 soundstages, four warehouses, support buildings and offices.