McCormick prod'n head at Warners

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Kevin McCormick has been promoted to president of production at Warner Bros. Pictures.

The widely expected move fills the vacancy left by Jeff Robinov, who in late November was named president of the newly created Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

In his new post, McCormick will take over day-to-day responsibility for Warners' creative team and the development of the movies produced by the company. In addition, he will continue to oversee the division's New York and London offices.

"It's an extension of the working relationship that Jeff and I have had over the last year," McCormick said. "He and (Warners president and COO Alan Horn) have created a strategy for the picture group, and I'll be helping them implement it."

The strategy is built around four or five tentpoles a year and filling out the rest of a slate that can appeal to a number of different quadrants. In 2007, the studio released such films as "I Am Legend" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" alongside "P.S. I Love You" and "Michael Clayton."

McCormick cited "Clayton" as the kind of movie he hopes to keep making.

" 'Michael Clayton' is a really good, old-fashioned but really entertaining, high-quality picture with emerging talent and major movie stars that you provide at an affordable price. I think that that is really emblematic of the kinds of movies we make really well at Warners, and that is the part I hope to continue in the slate."

"He's got good relations, he's got really good taste, and he's worked on both sides of the fences, having been both a producer and an exec," Robinov said. "He's just really smart and experienced."

Before this promotion, McCormick served as Warners' executive vp production, a post he has held since joining the studio in 1999. He gained a reputation for smart taste in material and having a nose for hot literary properties.

He shepherded such films as "The Last Samurai," "Matchstick Men," "The Perfect Storm," "White Oleander," "Insomnia," "Syriana" and "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Recent projects he worked on include "Blood Diamond" and "No Reservations" as well as Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd" and David Fincher's upcoming "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," both of which Warners co-produced with DreamWorks and Paramount, respectively.

Before joining the studio, McCormick was executive vp production at Fox 2000 from 1995-99. He began his career at the Robert Stigwood Organization in London, working on a number of films, including "Tommy," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever," the last of which he executive produced. He also served a stint as Sally Field's partner to develop film projects and later had a production deal at Paramount Pictures.
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