Skydance has promoted Don Granger to President of Feature Film Production, where he will oversee the development and production of David Ellison’s ambitious film slate. Granger had been EVP of the film division.
Granger, who served executive stints at Paramount, United Artists, C/W and the Mutual Film Company, has been a producer on Skydance co-productions including Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. He is executive producer on Skydance’s next two films: the Sony Pictures-distributed March 24 Mars mission thriller Life, with Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the Dwayne Rock starrer Baywatch, which Paramount releases May 26.
“Don’s genuine passion for filmmaking and his capacity to work tirelessly to fulfill his creative vision are boundless,” said Skydance Media Chief Creative Officer Dana Goldberg. “We are thankful for his immense contributions at the studio so far and feel incredibly fortunate that he is taking on this crucial role as we continue to grow Skydance.”
Said Granger: “David Ellison’s vision for Skydance is truly inspiring, and under his and Dana Goldberg’s leadership, I look forward to helping make movies that entertain and thrill global audiences.”
In his previous exec stints, Granger managed exactly the kind of big-[canvas popcorn films that Skydance relishes. That has included the Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and Jack Ryan films that were all Paramount hits, as well as War of the Worlds, Along Came a Spider and many others.
Skydance originally was formed by Ellison as a producer/financier that did most of its business with Paramount. The company was reconstituted with a $700 million cash infusion, and as its Paramount deal comes to a close, Skydance has been doing business at studios all over town. Skydance self-developed Life but expected it to be a Paramount film, until the studio backed away becase it was too close a cousin to the Bad Robot pic God Particle. Sony stepped in. Ellison has been generating more of his own films — he is working with James Cameron and Deadpool director Tim Miller on a creator-blessed overhaul of the Terminator franchise, for instance — and since he brings with him half the financing, studios are embracing him. Skydance Television launched in 2013 and is currently slated to produce six original series across multiple networks, and the company has expanded with international and interactive divisions as well.