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ST. PETE BEACH — Hollywood screenwriter and Beach Theatre owner Michael France was discovered dead at his St. Pete Beach home Friday morning after an extended illness, his sister said. He was 51.
In recent years Mr. France struggled with diabetes that impaired his left arm and right leg. Nine months ago he was found comatose at his residence by his sister, who also discovered his body Friday.
Mr. France was one of Tampa Bay’s most successful movie industry figures, starting with his screenplay for 1993’s Cliffhanger starring Sylvester Stallone. That was followed two years later with a story credit for GoldenEye, reinvigorating the James Bond franchise with Pierce Brosnan. Mr. France also did uncredited work on the script for another 007 adventure, The World is Not Enough.
His final three produced screenplays were among the first Marvel Comics adaptations to the screen: Oscar winning director Ang Lee’s 2003 version of Hulk, Fantastic Four (2005) and a co-writing credit on The Punisher (2004), filmed around Tampa Bay.