UA taps Granger president of prod'n

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Don Granger has been named president of production at United Artists, UA CEO Paula Wagner, to whom he will report, said Wednesday.

An associate of Wagner and her business partner Tom Cruise, who are heading the revival of UA, Granger joined Cruise/Wagner Prods. as a senior executive in charge of development and production in January 2004. During his tenure at C/W, the company produced "War of the Worlds," "Mission: Impossible III," "Elizabethtown" and the upcoming "The Eye." Granger also served as producer with Cruise/Wagner on the Paramount Classics film "Ask the Dust." Earlier, as an exec at Paramount, he supervised such films as the "Mission Impossible," "Star Trek" and "Tomb Raider" franchises.

At UA, Granger will oversee development and production operations. He has been working with Wagner and Cruise at the new UA since its inception in November, overseeing production of the studio's first two films -- "Lions for Lambs," directed by Robert Redford and starring Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise -- and "Valkyrie," to be directed by Bryan Singer, with Cruise starring.

"Tom and I have a long history with Don Granger, and we've always valued his great filmmaker relationships, his terrific taste in material and the tremendous intelligence he brings to development and production," Wagner said. "He's been an integral part of our team for many years now, and we are delighted that our association is continuing at UA."

Granger began his career in the movie business in 1987 as a creative executive at Weintraub Entertainment Group. He joined Touchstone Pictures the following year and in 1990 began a 12-year stint at Paramount Pictures, where he rose to become executive vp production.

In 2001, Granger partnered with Gary Levinsohn to create Mutual Film Co., where he executive produced "Timeline" and "Snakes on a Plane."
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