EXCLUSIVE: As John Lyons prepares to leave his production president post to focus on philanthropy, Focus Features top executives James Schamus and Andrew Karpen are in talks with Jeb Brody to replace him. Brody, who is currently president of production for producer/financer Vendome Pictures, is well regarded in the indie sphere. He was a producer of Sunshine Cleaning and was the executive producer of Little Miss Sunshine while he worked at Big Beach. Brody exec produced Vencome’s first two film productions, Source Code and Larry Crowne. Lyons made public his plan right after the Cannes Film Festival.
Lyons is leaving to devote more time to his pet project, the Edible Schoolyard/NYC. He is the founder and board chairman of the charity, which mixes his passion for the environment and growing food at the schools. He will oversee an expansion of the program to schools in the five New York boroughs, and he’ll also continue his work on the board of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation, which is the national program for the Edible Schoolyard initative. He’s also on the board of GrowNYC, a non-profit that promotes environmental awareness and runs the city’s Greenmarket programs.
As for Focus Features, it opens One Day on Friday, and follows with the John Madden-directed The Debt on Aug. 31. Focus has a Venice premiere for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, the Tomas Alfredson-directed adaptation of the John le Carre novel that stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy. Focus will also bring to Toronto Pariah, the Dee Rees-directed drama that Focus acquired after its 2011 Sundance Film Festival premiere. Focus is in theaters with the Mike Mills-directed Beginners, which stars Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent.