UPDATE, 11:35 AM: Universal has just made the announcement of Mark Sourian joining from DreamWorks Studios as EVP Production, news we scooped earlier this morning. The studio’s release is below the original story.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 9:16 AM: Mark Sourian, the former DreamWorks co-president of production, is in talks to join Universal Pictures as an executive vice president, I’m told. The studio, all caught up with closing Hollywood Blvd last night for the premiere of Jurassic World, did not return calls for comment. I hear it is moving quickly, and will have more when I know it.
Sourian spent three years sharing the top production post for Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider before moving into a first-look production deal with DreamWorks in 2012. Among the films he produced include Need For Speed.
It has been a busy week for new execs as Lionsgate reportedly set Bobby Cohen and Gillian Bohrer to run production, which was revealed by THR.
It is not surprising that Universal would look to bolster its production ranks. Everything Donna Langley touches lately has turned into gold, and the studio has used that momentum to be more aggressive in acquisitions and putting together the next batch of films. It wasn’t that long ago that the studio was scratching for hits, but right now if I got to ask Langley one question, it would be what numbers to play in the lottery.
Here’s the statement:
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, June 10, 2015—Universal Pictures today announced that veteran production executive Mark Sourian will join the studio as Executive Vice President, Production. Sourian comes to Universal from DreamWorks Studios where he has served in the production ranks since 1997 and most recently as an independent producer with the company. The announcement was made by Co-Presidents of Production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, to whom Sourian will report.
“Mark is a respected, hard-working, and passionate executive, with considerable experience overseeing a wide range of films,” said Cramer and Kirschenbaum. “We feel extremely fortunate that he will be joining us at Universal Pictures, and we are confident that his skill set will complement our already strong production team.”
Sourian, who will begin his new role at Universal later this month, started with DreamWorks as a development assistant and worked his way up to co-president in 2009, before becoming an independent producer in 2012. During his tenure with the company, Sourian has shepherded such box office hit including the horror films The Ring and The Ring 2 starring Naomi Watts, the critically-acclaimed film House of Sand and Fog starring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley, Red Eye directed by Wes Craven, Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Johnny Depp and Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman. As a producer, Sourian has produced films such as Delivery Man starring Vince Vaughn, as well as Need for Speed starring Aaron Paul, based on the popular EA Games title. He is also an executive producer on the upcoming DreamWorks project, A Dog’s Purpose, which will be helmed by Lasse Halstrom.
Sourian graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. He lives in Los Angeles.