EXCLUSIVE: After a fast rise as a Warner Bros production executive, Sarah Schechter is leaving the executive suite to become president of Warner Bros-based Berlanti Productions. She will run both the film and television shingles for writer, director and producer Greg Berlanti.
Schechter, who joined Warner Bros as a creative exec in 2005, rose to VP in 2007 and SVP in 2009. Among the films she has been supervising is the Berlanti-produced Pan, which became a priority project on a first draft by Jason Fuchs. The 3D film now has Joe Wright aboard as director, Hugh Jackman playing Blackbeard and Garrett Hedlund playing Hook and it is prepping in London for June 26, 2015 release. She has also been supervising the Etan Cohen-directed Get Hard, the comedy that will star Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart; the Ben Affleck-directed adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel Live By Night; and the Jaume Collet-Serra-directed Akira. Among her other projects building steam at the studio were the Garth Davis-directed Shantaram, the Michael Sucsy-directed film based on the blog 40 Days Of Dating, and the Whitey Bulger pic that Affleck and Matt Damon have been developing. She will transition her projects to other Warner Bros execs and should be in the new job by March. Current Berlanti Productions president Melissa Kellner Berman will become a producer of some of Berlanti’s projects, I’m told.
Schechter will also become a producer on Pan, which is the company’s big priority in film. Berlanti has a prolific TV operation, including the current series Arrow, The Tomorrow People, and Flash. On the feature side, he directed Life As We Know It and was a writer on Green Lantern and Wrath Of The Titans.
Before Warner Bros, Schechter was an exec at Barry Mendel Productions at Universal and worked on such films as Munich and The Royal Tenenbaums. She began working for Oscar-winning documentary director Barbara Kopple. Berlanti’s company is repped by WME.