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[ December 23rd 2002 ]

United International Pictures has scored an exclusive licensing deal to distribute its films in Ukraine via firm B&H, cutting our former middle-man East West Creative Associates, Variety Magazine reports. Pics on the 2003 role-call include Par's The Cradle Of Life: Tomb Raider 2 starring Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie returning as buxom gunslinger Lara Croft. "We very much value the relationship we have with East West and this change is simply a reflection of the growth of the business in (the) Ukraine and our preference, wherever possible, to deal directly with local players," said Julian Stanford, UIP's senior VP of European sales.

The Cradle Of Life: Tomb Raider 2, helmed by Speed king Jan de Bont, welcomes back Australian-born actor Noah Taylor and British Red Dwarf star Chris Barrie each resuming their roles alongside Girl Interrupted star Angelina Jolie. The second of three video-game incarnations chronicles the adventures of fearless aristocrat Lara Croft sent on a perilous mission to save the world from the evil exploits of a Chinese crime syndicate led by oriental crime lord Chen Lo, played by Simon Yam. Pic opens Summer 2003.

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