Film Head Departs Shine Group Ahead of News Corp. Sale

Warner Bros.' Oliver Madden joins Shine as head of film ahead of News. Corp sale.

LONDON -- Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group is reconfiguring its U.K. movie production imprints as the $663 million sale to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. gathers pace with the departure head of film Paul Webster to return to independent producing.

Webster exits Shine after being head of film for labels Kudos Pictures and Shine Pictures.

Webster is replaced by Oliver Madden, currently VP, production at Warner Bros. Entertainment U.K., who takes up the reins as Shine Pictures head of film.

Madden will report to Kudos Film and TV executive chairman Stephen Garrett.

Webster, a former Miramax production chief and Film4 chief executive, will work with Shine as a producer on upcoming movie projects. Madden will start at Shine in May shortly after Webster’s exit at the end of April.

Shine Pictures’ slate currently includes The Gray Man, an adaptation of Mark Greane’s thriller, a sequel to Eastern Promises and 3 Seconds, with writer Matt Cook attached.

Webster described Kudos as “without doubt the best company I have ever been associated with.”

He added: “Kudos and Shine will continue to produce some of the best, cutting edge film and TV drama being made in Britain and I look forward to working with them as an independent producer.”

Madden said: “I’ve had an incredible experience at Warner Bros., and will be saying goodbye to many friends, but could not pass up the opportunity to take this role at Shine Pictures.”

For his part Garrett said he was sad to see Webster leave the fold but “delighted” they would continue to work together on future projects.

Garrett also trumpeted Madden’s credentials, describing the exec as having “demonstrable taste and proven development savvy” to apply to a “growing and commercial slate.”

Shine Pictures is a joint venture between Shine Group and New Regency. Recent Kudos productions include Brighton Rock starring Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough and Helen Mirren and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and written by Simon Beaufoy starring Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt.