EXCLUSIVE: Mark Roybal, the well-respected president of Steven Rales’ indie production shingle Indian Paintbrush, is leaving. He is being hired by 20th Century Fox production president Emma Watts to become EVP Production. He fills the slot that Peter Kang left when he exited the studio and subsequently signed on at Paramount. I’m told that Roybal will oversee Gone Girl and the Matt Reeves-directed sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Gone Girl, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn bestseller, is the odds-on favorite to be the next film that David Fincher directs.

He leaves Rales’ Indian Paintbrush in a good place. The company has established itself as a respected financier and producer of classy fare, from the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy to the Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom and his follow-up The Grand Budapest Hotel. Also coming is Jason Reitman’s next film, Labor Day. Roybal’s exit is amicable.

Before arriving at Indian Paintbrush in late 2010, Roybal spent 14 years working for producer Scott Rudin, the last five as Rudin’s president of production. During that run, Roybal was executive producer of the Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men and a producer on Doubt and brought in such projects as Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, the Rudin-produced 9/11-themed drama directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks.

Roybal has strong relationships with talent and filmmakers and should bolster the studio’s attempt to become a more filmmaker-friendly place to work under Watts and Jim Gianopulos.