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French distributor and producer Samuel Hadida has passed away at 64

Today is a grim day in Hollywood, my friends. Mere hours after reporting on the death of SpongeBob Squarepants creator Stephen Hillenberg, it is with much regret that I also inform you of the passing of Samuel Hadida, a beloved indie French distributor and producer of films such as the RESIDENT EVIL franchise as well as the Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson action comedy THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD. Hadida passed away on Monday at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital after a short illness, according to his brother Victor. Hadida was only 64.

As a duo, Samuel and Victor owned and operated Metropolitan FilmExport, a high-profile distributor of American indie films. Throughout his storied career, Hadida collaborated with acclaimed filmmaker Tony Scott on his 1993 cult classic crime drama TRUE ROMANCE, and again in 2005 with Scott's release of DOMINO starring Keira Knightley and Mickey Rourke. In time, Hadida would join forces with Constantin Film for the RESIDENT EVIL franchise, the SILENT HILL film series, and more recently, Claude Lelouch's UN+UNE and THE BEST YEARS (an upcoming sequel to the Oscar winning A MAN AND A WOMAN).

While undoubtedly stricken with grief at the loss of his brother, Victor Hadida managed to say that, “Sammy’s passion and humor were infectious and his larger than life presence will certainly be missed. We are committed to honoring his life by bringing to fruition the numerous development projects under the Davis Films banner that Samuel so loved as well as the upcoming productions that were so important to him.”

Throughout its time as a top-flight independant film distributor, Metropolitan has been hailed as a banner that up-and-coming filmmakers can depend on. Oh, but don't take my word for it. Many blockbuster creators have engaged in a lasting relationship with the company, such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Terrence Malick, Tony Scott, Roger Avary, Christophe Gans and Claude Lelouch just to name a few.

In addition to his brother, Samuel is survived by his wife, Maryse Claire, their three grown children, Laurent, Audrey and Aurelie and one grandchild, Sasha.

Of course, we here at JoBlo would like to extend our warmest condolences to Samuel's family, friends and fans. May his legacy live on through the entertaining films that he helped shepard to the silver screen. Safe travels, Mr. Hadida.

Source: Maxine Leonard

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