'Runaway' prod'n co. extends pact for three years

Paramount Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment have renewed their exclusive production and distribution deal for three years, beginning Jan. 1.

Under the deal, Lakeshore will develop and produce pics for Paramount to distribute in all media in North America. The two companies will co-finance the titles, with Lakeshore Intl. handling foreign distribution.

Paramount and Lakeshore last collaborated on “Runaway Bride,” which Lakeshore co-produced with Interscope Communications, and Par co-financed with Disney. Pic has grossed $124 million in the U.S. to date.

Lakeshore also produced John Schlesinger’s upcoming drama “The Next Best Thing,” starring Rupert Everett and Madonna for Par.

Lakeshore founder Tom Rosenberg, who co-chairs the company with Ted Tannebaum, said his company felt at home on the Par lot.

Lakeshore has produced or co-financed a number of low- and medium-budget pics with the studio, including “200 Cigarettes,” “The Real Blonde” and “Til There was You.”

In the last few years, however, Lakeshore has become more ambitious, eyeing studio-level fare such as “Bride,” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

New ‘Apartment’

“We’ll be making a new version of (the French film) ‘L’Appartement,’ directed by Gilles Mimouni,” Rosenberg said of Lakeshore’s future plans. Originally released in Europe in 1996, “L’Appartement” centers on a man on his way to Tokyo and marriage — but who derails his new life with a tryst in Paris.

Rosenberg added that while the pic’s original helmer, Joel Schumacher, has ankled the project, a new director will be announced shortly.

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