Lynn Harris, the veteran studio exec and producer, has been named president of worldwide production at Global Road Entertainment. She will report to chairman and CEO Rob Friedman, who has been revamping the company.
Harris came up in the salad days of New Line under Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, a mini-major that besides Harris hatched such executive talent as Michael De Luca, Donna Langley, Mary Parent, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener and others. She left Warner Bros to partner with husband Matti Leshem in Weimaraner Republic Pictures, a shingle that has focused on female-centric films that scored a sleeper hit at Sony with the Blake Lively-starrer The Shallows.
Among its upcoming TV and film projects are Keeper of the Diary at Fox Searchlight, the story of Otto Frank’s quest to find a publisher for the diary written by his daughter Anne Frank, and the efforts of a young bright wannabe editor, Barbara Zimmerman, to see it through. Leshem will continue to run Weimaraner with Matt Crespy his development veep.
Harris becomes Friedman’s first major hire after he was tapped by Tang Media Partners Entertainment chief Donald Tang to bring together Open Road Films, IM Global and IM Global Television after IM Global’s Stuart Ford and Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg departed. The hiring of Harris puts Global Road in a position to generate more of its own films to complement the sales and acquisition operations already in place.
“Lynn has seen tremendous success as both a producer and senior-level studio executive and having the ability to harness her breadth of experience is a significant win for our growing global content studio,” Friedman said. “As we continue to ramp up and unite our film operations, we will look to Lynn to help populate our slate and identify projects that we can distribute directly and through our partners worldwide.”
Before partnering with Leshem, Harris spent a decade at Warner Bros, where she developed films that included the Oscar winning Alfonso Cuaron-directed Gravity, Magic Mike, Man of Steel, Contagion, Where The Wild Things Are and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. At New Line, she helped break such directors as David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson. She began her career working at Leonard Hill Films and Lynda Obst Productions. She said she sparked to the chance to build a new company under Friedman.
“Rob is a true industry leader whose work I’ve admired for years and I’m thrilled to be joining him as he sets a new course for Global Road,” she said. “We are in a moment of tremendous and exciting change in the entertainment industry overall, but quality, entertaining content will always will and I look forward to creating a late that addresses the needs of the global audience.”