EXCLUSIVE: As David Ellison‘s Skydance Productions gets more creatively ambitious in the popcorn pictures it makes in partnership with Paramount Pictures, the label has added a former Par stalwart exec in Don Granger. Granger joins Ellison and Dana Goldberg at Skydance in the post of EVP Feature Productions. It is a newly created position and he will report to Goldberg, the company’s chief creative officer.
As Skydance continues to pursue tentpole films like with the reboot of The Terminator franchise, Granger seems like an ideal fit because he has spent most of his career shepherding exactly these kinds of films. He most recently worked with Paramount and Skydance producing Jack Reacher, and before that had a strong relationship with Tom Cruise as president of Motion Picture Production at United Artists when Cruise and Paula Wagner revived the label. Granger before that was senior exec at C/W Productions and before that was partner in Mutual Film Company. He cut his teeth at Paramount, where he worked from 1990-2001 and shepherded such franchises as Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Tomb Raider and the Jack Ryan films, as well as Saving Private Ryan. The brass at Paramount is different, but many of those franchises are ones that Skydance is involved in.
“Having worked with Don before, we knew he was the perfect addition to Skydance,” said Goldberg. “He is an incredible executive and producer with amazing talent relationships. We are thrilled to welcome someone with such a tremendous level of experience in all aspects of the business.” Said Ellison: “Don’s creative talents and production experience make him the perfect fit for Skydance as we continue to expand our business across both our film and television divisions.”
Said Granger: “I am so excited to join Skydance Productions, and very grateful to David Ellison and Dana Goldberg for this opportunity. David has built Skydance into one of the most sought after producers and financiers of major studio films, and I look forward to helping him and Dana oversee a wonderful and expanding slate of films.”
The move occurs as Skydance is in the middle of the next installments of World War Z, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, Mission: Impossible, and Jack Reacher. The label just set its first project from its fledgling TV division in Manhattan, a Sam Shaw/Tommy Schlamme 13 episode collaboration for WGN America.