Focus Features has elevated Josh McLaughlin to president of production. He replaces Jim Burke, who decided to return to his previous role as producer. Burke transitions out in June with a first look Focus deal. McLaughlin, at Focus since 2012, will be based in LA and his ascension was announced by Focus Chairman Peter Kujawski and President Robert Walak. He’ll report to Walak. Focus also promoted its Director of Development Rebecca Arzoian to Vice President, Production. She worked closely on the label’s Cannes entry, the Sofia Coppola-directed The Beguiled. Arzoian has been with Focus since late 2011. This follows the promotion of Kiska Higgs to head acquisitions and co-production. Films McLaughlin has shepherded include The Zookeeper’s Wife, Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry, and Atomic Blonde, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy.
McLaughlin joined Focus directly from his position as Executive Vice President at Chernin Entertainment, where he worked for nearly two years in film production. Previously, Mr. McLaughlin was exec veep and motion picture co-head of The Mark Gordon Company. Among the movies that he produced there was Kasi Lemmons’ Talk to Me, done with Focus. Before that, he worked with Gordon at Mutual Film Company for two years and seven before that at The Mark Gordon Company, after beginning his industry career at The Gersh Agency.
“Josh and Rebecca have been constants at Focus for years. Their genuine love of movies is at the core of what Focus stands for,” said Focus President Robert Walak. “Josh’s deep relationships with filmmakers and actors made him the clear choice to captain a department that he has already helped to strengthen.”