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Mutual agreement

Par extends Gordon-Levinsohn shingle's 1st look

Paramount Pictures and Gary Levinsohn and Mark Gordon’s Mutual Film Co. have extended their first-look agreement through 2001.

The deal ends speculation about the status of the relationship, following Mutual’s announcement of a $350 million co-financing package with Universal Pictures in September.

The company, originally called Cloud Nine Entertainment, first pacted with Par in 1996. Last year, in June, it changed its name to Mutual and announced a partnership with four overseas distributors to co-finance the development, production and international sales of feature films.

The companies, Germany’s Tele-Munchen, the U.K.’s BBC, Japan’s Toho-Towa/Marubeni and France’s UGC-Ph, each receive distribution rights in their territories and an equity stake in the films on a worldwide basis.

Mutual’s foreign sales arm, headed by chief operating officer Robert Lazarus, licenses distribution rights to territories not handled by its international partners.

Mutual, which is housed at Raleigh Studios across the street from Paramount’s Melrose Ave. lot, has co-financed and exec produced the horror pic “The Relic” and co-financed and produced (along with Ian Bryce) the current action thriller “Hard Rain.”

At Universal, Mutual co-financed and handled foreign sales on the Bruce Willis-Richard Gere thriller “The Jackal”; the sci-fi thriller “Virus”; upcoming John Travolta political satire “Primary Colors” and actioner “Black Dog.”

Mutual is co-financing Par’s thriller “A Simple Plan” starring Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton, and is producing kidpic “Paulie: A Parrot’s Tale” at DreamWorks.

Levinsohn and Gordon also developed “Saving Private Ryan” a DreamWorks-Paramount co-production directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks.