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EXCLUSIVE: Black List Creator to Join Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment

Franklin Leonard
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Franklin Leonard leaving his post at Universal Pictures to become vp creative affairs at Sony-based production company.

Franklin Leonard, the creator of the Black List, is leaving his post at Universal Pictures and joining Overbrook Entertainment, the company run by Will Smith, James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Leonard starts this week as vp creative affairs at the Sony-based production company.

For the past two years, Leonard has acted as director of development at Universal, where he worked on Fast Five (the fifth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise), the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat, the Meryl Streep romantic comedy It's Complicated and M. Night Shyamalan's Devil.

"We're thrilled Franklin has this opportunity, and we fully support him in his move to Overbrook," a Universal spokesperson said.

The exec is best known for creating the Black List while a development exec at Appian Way in 2005. The list, which is unveiled every December, ranks the most-liked unproduced scripts Hollywood movers and shakers have read all year and has become an anticipated event among the development community as well as a platform for screenwriters.