Universal Music Appoints New Heads of Film, Television & Theatrical Development


'The Devil Wears Prada' producer David Blackman and Broadway producer Scott Landis join the company to head its development and production of film, television and theatrical projects.

Universal Music Group has appointed film producer David Blackman and Broadway producer Scott Landis to head its development and production of film, television and theatrical projects, the company announced Thursday.

Blackman and Landis will report jointly to UMG executive vp Michele Anthony and Universal Music Publishing Group chairman-CEO Jody Gerson. 

Blackman has been named to the newly created role of head of film and television development and production. His résumé includes work on such films as Last Vegas and The Devil Wears Prada, among others. He was previously president of production at Dreamgirls producer Laurence Mark's Sony-based production company Laurence Mark Productions. Before that, he was vice president of Wendy Finerman Productions. He will now oversee the development of Universal Music's film, television and other video projects, as well as coordinating projects with other Vivendi companies, including the French-based production and distribution company StudioCanal.

Landis will serve as a special advisor on theatrical development and production, bringing his Tony- and Drama Desk Award-winning theater production experience to the company. He previously worked on the first-ever London revival of Funny Girl and Broadway productions of Twelfth Night/Richard III starring Mark Rylance, Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Matthew Broderick and Venus In Fur, among others. His mission is to assist UMG in strengthening its relationship with the theater community through partnerships and developing new projects based on the company's roster of artists and music library. 

"Music is not only essential to film, television and theater, but the stories behind our artists and their music offer narratives that provide a natural foundation to build exciting and compelling experiences for audiences around the world," Gerson said in a statement. "With David and Scott, we're focused on working with the Hollywood and Broadway communities on delivering stories that will delight fans, reach new audiences and open up new commercial opportunities for our songwriters and our legendary music catalog."

Added Anthony: "David and Scott will further grow Universal Music's presence in film, television and theater by creating rich new opportunities beyond recorded music for our artists, labels and our unparalleled roster of current and catalog recordings. This is yet another important step in the evolution of Universal Music into a music-based entertainment company."

In December, Gerson told Billboard that UMPG is looking to tap additional ­revenue streams by spearheading new film and TV ­projects with the help of Vivendi-owned sister ­company Studio Canal. "We should be ­creating the next Empire, the next Glee, the next Pitch Perfect," she said.

Blackman will be based at the company's Santa Monica headquarters, while Landis will remain in New York.

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.