12:04pm PT by Borys Kit
Comic-Con: Heavy Metal Names Brian Witten as President
Executive-turned-producer Brian Witten has been named president of Heavy Metal, the media company that began life as the venerable fantasy magazine.
Witten will oversee the film and television business of Heavy Metal and elements of the music and online publishing divisions.
One of Witten’s first acts will be to head to Comic-Con for Heavy Metal’s panel detailing its ambitious future.
Witten was a production exec at New Line and Paramount but more recently has been acting as an independent producer. He produced the adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell with Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack, which is set to be released later this year. Currently, Witten is in prep on The Blob, also with Jackson, which begins production this fall.
Previously, Witten was president of Fangoria Film, the film division of the best-selling horror magazine in the world. As an executive at Paramount, he was key in the acquisition of the Transformers rights and oversaw movies such as Vanilla Sky and Mission: Impossible 3. At New Line, he shepherded fanboy-centric movies ranging from Spawn and Dark City to Final Destination and the Friday the 13th remake.
Witten has deep comic book roots tracing back to the early 1990s when he partnered with Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld and the artist’s Extreme Studios. Witten was tasked with running the film and TV arm and set up projects such as Prophet at TriStar, Youngblood at Fox, and Doom’s IV at Amblin. He also wrote comics such as Chapel, Vogue and Operation: Knightstrike.