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Cannon is fodder for Panda suit

Woody Allen is showing up in new places. First, he became a spokesman for French tourism. Now he’ll be at Fox Searchlight.

The studio is negotiating a worldwide rights deal for his next film. Allen just completed a three-pic domestic distribution deal at DreamWorks that will be completed when the studio distributes the Jason Biggs/Christina Ricci starrer “Anything Else” this fall.

The one-picture deal for Allen, being negotiated by ICM, business manager Steve Tennenbaum and Searchlight prexy Peter Rice, covers a project he will direct in the fall.

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eal, it would likely receive a huge equity boost from the wealthy Canadian Belzberg family. In its suit, Independent named Blake and Panda parent Rhino Publications Ltd. as defendants. Blake could not be reached Tuesday.

Independent, which has a production relationship with Cannon, was able to acquire the confidential information, the suit said.

But after the information was given to Blake, he and his backers cut their own stock purchase deal with Cannon majority stockholder Christopher Pearce, who is also president, chairman and CEO. Blake allegedly offered Independent only a finder’s fee.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction against acquisition of Cannon stock by the defendants for themselves alone and continuing to oust Independent from the opportunity to buy the stock.

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