The PinkPanther producer RobertSimonds, who began his career as a production trainee at MGM, has returned tothe studio with a first-look deal.
First up will be a remake of the 1968 family comedy Yours,Mine & Ours, which originally starredLucille Ball and Henry Fonda.
Simonds has justwrapped production on The Pink Panther, which stars Steve Martin and was directed by Shawn Levy.The trio previously collaborated on the hit comedy Cheaper By The Dozen, which opened at the end of last year.
MGM plans torelease The Pink Panther in 2005 and executives have high hopes of turning it into asuccessful franchise.
"Bob has one ofthe best track records of any active producer in Hollywood because of hisimpeccable eye for talent and fresh ideas," MGM vice-chairman and chiefoperating officer Chris McGurk said in a statement.
"Combined withan acute business sense, this makes him the perfect creative partner for MGM.We're thrilled to be working with him."
"Simonds'film-making philosophies are very well-matched to MGM's," MGM Picturespresident Michael Nathanson added. "We're both committed to top-notchentertainment produced in a smart, fiscally responsible manner. We look forward to a long andprofitable partnership."
"Having justfinished principal photography on The Pink Panther, I'm really pleased with my experienceworking with MGM," Simonds said. "The studio gave us the freedom and support tomake the movie we wanted to make, providing a protected, nurturing environmentin which to work."
As part of thedeal, Tracey Trench, president of The Robert Simonds Company who serves asexecutive producer on Simonds' pictures, will also come to MGM.
After hisinitial training stint at the studio, Simonds produced the family comedy ProblemChild and went on toform a successful partnership with Adam Sandler on The Waterboy, The WeddingSinger and Big Daddy.
His upcoming releases include Taxi starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon for Fox, Rebound with Martin Lawrence for Fox, and Herbie:Fully Loaded, which stars Lindsay Lohan forDisney.