Elie Samaha's Franchise Pictures, which has a five year co-financing and domestic distribution deal with Warner Bros, has boarded Meg Ryan starrer Against The Ropes with Paramount and taken international rights on Warner's remake of The In-Laws to star Michael Douglas and Billy Crystal.

Against The Ropes marks the first collaboration between Samaha and Paramount, which has a host of partnerships with independent companies such as Mutual, Lakeshore and Mandalay. Ryan will play Jackie Kellen, a middle-aged mother from Michigan and her relationship with an inner city boxer whom she used to manage.

The film is produced by Robert Cort of The Cort/Madden Company and will mark the feature directorial debut of Charles S Dutton.

Meanwhile Til Death Do Us Part, which is set to be released domestically in the second half of 2002 is to be directed by Donald Petrie and teams Douglas and Crystal as two men whose offspring are planning to get married who get caught up in a smuggling plot in South America. Bill Todman and Bill Gerber are producing.

Samaha and Andrew Stevens of Franchise are executive producing both Against The Ropes and Til Death Do Us Part.