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EuropaCorp CEO Axel Duroux Steps Down; Luc Besson Takes Interim Role

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EuropaCorp CEO Axel Duroux, the French-Swiss executive who joined the Paris-based company in 2020, has stepped down from his position.

Luc Besson, who co-founded EuropaCorp in 1999, will act as the interim CEO for a limited period starting immediately, EuropaCorp said in a release.

Duroux will remain a shareholder and will continue to work closely with EuropaCorp as special advisor to the chairman until mid-May “in order to ensure the best possible handover to the new management team,” the company added.

EuropaCorp was taken over by New York fund Vine Alternative Investments in 2020, after being placed on a debt waiver by a French commercial court. As part of its restructuring plan, EuropaCorp received a new credit line of $100 million to develop a slate of films and start producing again. Besson, who previously had an operational role in the company, became artistic director with a five-year contract renewable for another two years.

The company recently delivered its first production in years, “Dogman,” which also marked the directorial comeback of Besson. The revenge thriller, starring Caleb Landry Jones as troubled man who finds solace in dogs, world premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival and was acquired by Briarcliff Entertainment for the U.S. In France, “Dogman” grossed a disappointing $3 million after being released on Sept. 27. The movie was produced by Virginie Besson-Silla and Steve Rabineau.

The banner has a several projects in the pipeline, including “Weekend Escape Project,” an action thriller set in Taiwan, starring British singer-actor Luke Evans (“Murder Mystery,” “Nine Perfect Strangers”) and Taiwanese female actor Gwei Lun-mei (“Black Coal, Thin Ice,” “Girlfriend, Boyfriend”).

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