DeVon Franklin Upped to Senior VP of Production at Columbia

DeVon Franklin has been promoted to senior vp of production at Columbia Pictures.

Franklin will “develop and supervise production of commercial material geared towards the urban and faith-based markets," the studio said Tuesday.  Franklin’s assignment will see him work with several divisions at Sony Pictures, including Screen Gems and Affirm Films as well as Columbia.

He will continue to work on Columbia’s high profile titles such as Masters of the Universe, which is in development, and After Earth, M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi movie starring Will and Jaden Smith.

Franklin, who joined the studio in 2005, has overseen The Karate Kid remake as well as Jumping the Broom, among others, and next has Sparkle, the black-themed musical starring Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks, that will be relesed Aug. 17. He also helped oversee such hits as the Will Smith-starring pics The Pursuit of Happyness, Hancock, and Seven Pounds.

“We are proud to recognize his achievements with this promotion. DeVon is positioned to capitalize on his unique skill set, experience and relationships and will further define Sony as an industry leader in telling stories for a diverse audience,” said Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad, to whom Franklin will report.

Franklin is unique amongst Hollywood’s executive class in that he is an ordained preacher and published author. Produced By Faith, an inspirational and motivational self-help book chronicling his outlook on life and reflecting upon his experiences in the entertainment industry, was published last year.

Franklin started his career as an intern for Smith and James Lassiter at Overbrook Entertainment before becoming an exec at MGM where he oversaw such projects as Be Cool and Beauty Shop.

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