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Elie Samaha

Elie Samaha is Chairman/CEO of Franchise Pictures, which has fast become one of the most prolific production and co-financing companies in the entertainment industry. Under his leadership, Franchise Pictures will finance and distribute over a dozen films this year alone.

In a three and a half-year period, Samaha has built Franchise into a powerful mini-studio with mainstream films populated by the industry's biggest box-office stars. They include Michael Douglas, Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Costner, Danny DeVito, John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, Sean Penn, Cameron Diaz, Wesley Snipes, Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey.

Franchise Pictures has instituted a domestic distribution arrangement with Warner Bros. Pictures, which began with the popular comedy The Whole Nine Yards, starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, released on February 18, 2000. Other films released through Warner Bros. Pictures include Art of War, starring Wesley Snipes; The Pledge, starring Jack Nicholson and directed by Sean Penn; Heist, starring Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito and written and directed by David Mamet; and The In-Laws, starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks. Currently in production is David Mamet's next film (currently untitled), starring Val Kilmer and William H. Macy.

Other Franchise fare distributed domestically through Warner Bros. Pictures includes Luis Mandoki's Angel Eyes, with Jennifer Lopez and Jim Caviezel; 3,000 Miles to Graceland, starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner; Driven, starring Sylvester Stallone; FearDotCom, starring Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone and Stephen Rea; City by the Sea, directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Robert De Niro, Frances McDormand and James Franco; and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, starring Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu. Slated for release in 2003 are Sound of Thunder, starring Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, and Sir Ben Kinglsey; and The Whole Ten Yards, starring Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis.

Franchise operates a classics division which has recently produced and distributed films including The Green Dragon, starring Patrick Swayze and Forest Whitaker; Caveman's Valentine, starring Samuel L. Jackson; Rodrigo Garcia's Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, featuring Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Amy Brenneman and Cameron Diaz, which won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival; and The Big Kahuna, starring Danny DeVito and Kevin Spacey.

Franchise retains foreign rights to all its films and operates as a full-service international sales company encompassing distribution, marketing and delivery, with output deals covering territories worldwide. Samaha has shepherded an extensive list of films towards release for the coming year through Franchise Pictures.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Elie Samaha Facts

Birth Name Elie Kheir Samaha
BirthdayMay 10, 1955 (67)
BirthplaceBeirut, Lebanon

Selected Filmography

Break Up
Murder of Crows
The Big Kahuna
American Loser
Into The Sun
Alex & Emma
No Code of Conduct
Get Carter
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