Elie Samaha

Elie Samaha (Arabic: إيلي سماحة; born May 10, 1955) is a film producer in Los Angeles, with production credits beginning with The Immortals in 1995. He has produced over 83 works, primarily films along with some video games. He produced The Boondock Saints (1999), Battlefield Earth (2000) and Spartan (2004).

Elie Samaha
Elie Kheir Samaha[1]

(1955-05-10) May 10, 1955[1]
Zahlé, Lebanon
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1995–present
Diane Shammas
(m. 1980; div. 1988)

Tia Carrere
(m. 1992; div. 2000)

Samaha built his reputation in Hollywood first as the owner of Celebrity Cleaners and then with his nightclub on Sunset Strip, the Roxbury. Parlaying the Hollywood friendships he formed through his clubs, Samaha was able in 1999 to lock up a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Early life

Samaha was born in Zahlé, Lebanon.


Samaha also was a co-owner/founder of the dry cleaner chain Celebrity Cleaners and co-owner of the Roxbury nightclub in Los Angeles.

Between 1998 and 2004, Samaha produced films under the Franchise Pictures studio title, which included films such as The Boondock Saints , Mercy, Battlefield Earth, The Whole Nine Yards, Get Carter, Angel Eyes and Driven.

Samaha specialized in rescuing stars' pet projects. Franchise Pictures sought out stars whose projects were stalled at the major studios, bringing them aboard at reduced salaries. Samaha approach was to produce star vehicles more cheaply than the larger studios.[2] His unorthodox deals raised eyebrows and the entertainment industry magazine Variety commented that they were "often so complex and variable as to leave outsiders scratching their heads".[3] As Samaha put it during an interview about Battlefield Earth, "I said, 'If John [Travolta] wants to make this movie, what does he want to get paid?' ... Because I do not pay anybody what they make. That is not my business plan."[4]

He is currently the President of Take 3 Productions, which produced Breaking Brooklyn (2016), a dance film starring Louis Gossett Jr., Nathan Kress and Colin Critchley.[5]

In 2000, Samaha was sued by Intertainment Pictures, his business partners on a number of films. Intertainment won a $70 million judgment against Samaha for fraudulently overcharging them for production costs on the films.[6]

Personal life

Samaha is Jewish.[7] He was married to Diane Shammas from 1980 to 1988. He was married to actress Tia Carrere from 1992 to 2000.


See also


  1. Internet Movie Database
  2. Shprintz, Janet (July 31, 2009). "Legal eagle says Elie fudged budgets". Variety.
  3. Bing, Jonathan (June 9, 2003). "The Samaha Syndrome". Variety.
  4. Hirschberg, Lynn (May 14, 2000). "The Samaha Formula for Hollywood Success". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  5. http://deadline.com/2016/01/jay-huguley-joins-heart-baby-louis-gossett-jr-joins-breaking-brooklyn-1201675657/
  6. Variety
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2000/jun/04/2
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