warnerbroslogo-200UPDATED & EXCLUSIVE: This was expected and very much his idea. Until Kevin McCormick leaves his job as president of production on January 1st, business continues as usual at Warner Bros. He will not be replaced — but sources tell me that Warner Bros exec Greg Silverman (who helped put together that big summer hit The Hangover will be upped. McCormick will remain on the lot as a producer, activating the deal that was put in place years ago. Kevin, of course, started and spent most of his entertainment career as a producer. His 3-year arrangement will include Warner Bros motion picture as well as theater projects. He was promoted into his current exec job back in January 2008. Though McCormick was Warner Bros’ most popular top execs, there were rumors at the start of this year that he was going to segue into a producer gig because of an awkward relationship with boss Jeff Robinov over how to proceed with the studio’s development. Anyway, here’s hoping everyone is now happy with this new arrangement. UPDATE: Here’s the Warner Bros announcement now:

mccormick robinov(October 19, 2009 – Burbank, CA)  Kevin McCormick, who has served as President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, since January 2008, will return to his roots as a film producer and form a Studio-based production company effective January 1, 2010, it was announced today by Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. McCormick will remain in his executive role at the Studio until the end of December 2009.

McCormick’s post at Warner Bros. Pictures will not be filled; Robinov will assume some of the position’s responsibilities and re-assign the balance of the job’s duties to in-place executives in January 2010.

Among the first films to be produced by McCormick’s production company are “Dead Spy Running,” adapted by Stephen Gaghan; “The Lucky One,” to be directed by Doug McGrath and produced by Denise Di Novi; “Arthur” with producers Larry Bresner and Chris Bender; and an untitled project with writer Eric Roth. 

“When we first discussed my becoming President of Production, I told Jeff that I would make a commitment for two years – because I realized it would lead me away from the creative side of filmmaking, which is what I most care about,” said McCormick. “Jeff and I have been friends and colleagues for more than a decade, and he’s been extremely supportive of my desire to return to producing.  There’s nowhere else I’d rather be making movies than Warner Bros., and I look forward to getting started.”

“Kevin is a great film executive with a keen understanding of the entire filmmaking process,” said Robinov.  “This knowledge along with his innate creative talents and incredible taste will serve him well as a producer. Meantime, he has developed for us an extremely strong slate of movies through 2010 and 2011. I look forward to continuing both our professional and personal relationship to create some great films.”

“Kevin has been an important and valued member of the Warner Bros. family for more than 10 years,” said Alan Horn, President & Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros.    “I’m pleased that he’s able to follow his heart back to producing and am absolutely delighted that he’ll be making films for us through his production company.  I know success lies ahead for him.”

In addition to his film responsibilities, McCormick was also involved with the operation of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and will maintain this association by becoming a producer on a number of the division’s projects currently in development and pre-production. 

During his tenure as a film executive, McCormick has been involved with some of the Studios’ most popular and profitable films, including “The Perfect Storm,” “Blood Diamond,” “The Last Samurai,” “Insomnia,” “Syriana,” “Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the DreamWorks co-productions “Sweeney Todd” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and the upcoming “Sherlock Holmes.”