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Stevens exits Franchise Pix

Prez ankles as legal woes with Intertainment continue

Andrew Stevens is resigning from his post as president and chief operating officer of Franchise Pictures to open his own production company. His new company will have a multi-pic deal with Franchise.

Franchise chairman Elie Samaha and Stevens have produced more than 60 films together since they launched Franchise Pictures in 1997. Parting is said to be amicable.

Franchise is in production on “Loosely Based on a True Love Story,” starring Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson, and “The Whole Ten Yards” starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry. In post are “The Wedding Party,” starring Michael Douglas, “A Hairy Tale,” starring Matthew Modine, and “The Sound of Thunder,” starring Ed Burns.

Franchise is embroiled in an ongoing federal lawsuit by German film distributor Intertainment alleging the production company inflated budgets on jointly financed films. An additional suit filed last week in L.A. Superior Court claims that Comerica Bank, Film Finances Inc. and Worldwide Film Completion knew or should have known about Franchise’s fraud but approved the producer’s figures.

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