Warner Bros EVP Production Lynn Harris is leaving the studio after a ten year run there. One of the smartest execs in town, she has long been rumored for top posts in all sorts of places, to the point where, each time I’d call her she would say, “Where am I going now?” The most recent speculation was that she could wind up in a high post at Disney after Alan Horn left Warner Bros to take over that studio. Harris will stay until June 1, and she will oversee Godzilla, Jupiter Ascending, and Blended through their conclusions. The early speculation now is that Harris might go and rejoin Jeff Robinov in his new Sony deal, for which he is still raising money. They worked well together on Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes him that long to get things up and running. Harris said she hasn’t decided on anything yet.
Harris leaves after having her best year at the studio. She has a great relationship with filmmakers and had a strong hand in films from David Fincher’s breakthrough film Se7en, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, and the Blade series at New Line, to such Warner Bros pics as Man Of Steel, the Fincher-directed Zodiac and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, the Steven Soderbergh-directed Contagion and Magic Mike, the Spike Jonze-directed Where The Wild Things Are and many others.
There is always fallout when regimes change at studios as happened at Warner Bros when Robinov exited last summer, and when you are a candidate for that top job and it goes to someone else, the next step is often elsewhere. This marks the second respected female executive to exit the Warner Bros ranks in quick succession, after Sarah Schechter left to run Greg Berlanti’s WB-based film and TV company. While Robinov has taken most of the bows for pushing Gravity through the green light process, I’ve always heard that Harris was the unsung hero who kept it on track through all of its travails. So expect her next move to be a good one. Here is the internal memo just disseminated by Greg Silverman:
It’s always hard when a valued colleague decides to leave the Warner Bros. family, especially one as well liked and respected as Lynn Harris. And in this case, it’s particularly difficult because she is not just a colleague, but a long-standing friend to everyone in our group.
Lynn has had a spectacular run — from BENJAMIN BUTTON and the TITANS franchise to MAGIC MIKE and MAN OF STEEL — and she was instrumental in bringing GRAVITY to the screen.
Most recently, Lynn shepherded GODZILLA, BLENDED and JUPITER ASCENDING for us and I’m pleased that she has agreed to continue consulting on those projects for the studio.
We, of course, support her decision to seek new challenges, and I personally know she will be as successful in her future endeavors as she has been during her tenure here at Warner Bros.