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Kopelson Prods. ups Panitch

Arnold Kopelson Prods. production VP Sanford Panitch has been upped to exec production VP, it was announced Monday.

Panitch joined the Warners-based outfit in 1991 as development director, initiating feature projects that are likely to move into production.

Thrills ahead

Among them are the thriller “Dead Reckoning” and the high-tech suspenser “Outbreak,” which pits a team of virologists against a deadly plague threatening to wipe out the entire U.S. population.

Since Lynda Obst’s Fox-based company has another virus-based thriller on the boards, this project will likely be among the first to go from Kopelson’s development package, which also includes the romancer “Stealing Hearts” and the updated Arthurian fable “The Forever King.”

Prior to joining Kopelson, Panitch served under Gale Anne Hurd’s Pacific Western Prods. and also established the Revive Screening Co.

Said Kopelson in a statement, “Sanford has become an integral part of the team comprised of myself, Anne Kopelson, Stephen Brown and Nana Greenwald, that makes our company run like a fine Swiss watch. He is second to none in the acquisition of properties.”

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