Robert Cooper isleaving his post as CEO of Artisan Pictures and vice chairman of parent companyArtisan Entertainment after just 15 months at the company. Cooper, who mergedhis Landscape Entertainment with Artisan in Sept 2001, is to relaunch LandscapePictures as an independent vehicle to produce films and TV programming.

Cooper is acquiringthe Landscape brand name from Artisan along with the TV production division anda slate of projects that were in development at Landscape including 16 featureprojects, many set up at major studios. Landscape, which continued to exist atArtisan for Cooper's bigger budget projects, has a first-look deal for newpictures at New Line Cinema.

Artisan willretain a financial position in the projects Cooper is acquiring from it, whileCooper will remain a shareholder in Artisan.

Artisan'sRichard Saperstein will now have day-to-day oversight and responsibility overArtisan Pictures theatrical film production programme. He will report directlyto Artisan Entertainment CEO Amir Malin.

Cooper wasbrought in to revitalize Artisan's film production activities but as yet nofilm has gone into production under his aegis. Havana Nights, the sequel to Dirty Dancing which is a co-production with MiramaxFilms, and The Punisher,a film of the Marvel Comics character are set to shoot this year, although bothwere developed by Artisan before Cooper joined the company. Also this yearArtisan plans to go into production on Richard Eyre's Compleat Female StageBeauty on which thecompany is teamed with Tribeca Productions.

'We owe a greatdeal to Bob for the role he played in jumpstarting our production operations,'said Malin in a statement on Friday. 'In the next six months, we will havethree films in production, and this is a testament to Bob's vision and hardwork.'

Projects indevelopment which Cooper was responsible for include a remake of the chillingsci-fi/horror classic Scanners; the Mark Mylod-directed comedy The Big White; the dark thriller, Tonight He Comes, which is being produced by AkivaGoldsman; The Prom,produced by Neal Moritz; and Amazon Run.

Prior to Landscape, Cooper was head of production atDreamWorks SKG, president of TriStar Pictures and president of HBO Pictures.