Reuther set to move

New Regency prexy Steven D. Reuther is in final negotiations to ankle that slot and head up a new production outfit to be based on the Warner Bros. lot, sources said Thursday. Industryites say the move is the logical result of rapid growth at New Regency, which is the Warner-based production arm of Arnon Milchan.

Sources said that New Regency brass recently gave Reuther permission to spin off by himself provided he first filled his empty prexy chair.

Though WB reps and Reuther were mum on the subject, the name of Columbia Pictures exec VP Michael Nathanson was widely rumored late Thursday as a likely successor to the top New Regency slot. It is understood that Reuther’s new — and, so far, nameless — company would be created as a satellite outfit with close ties to New Regency, though it would retain complete autonomy in terms of acquiring and developing material. It’s not known how the films would be financed.

That means there will soon be a serious new buyer on the Burbank lot with the experience and financial backing to create a high-end slate starting from scratch. As with New Regency, Reuther’s new company is also expected to have a distrib arrangement of some kind with Warner Bros.

As of late Thursday, sources said, the final details of Reuther’snew deal had been practically hammered out, and they expected a public announcement shortly to that effect.

Coming to New Regency from Vestron Pictures in May 1990, Reuther established himself as a producer with an eye for high-concept yet diversified fare, such as the upcoming Joel Schumacher-directed screen adaptation of John Grisham’s novel “The Client” and the AIDS drama “Boys on the Side.” Insiders predict he will follow that direction in his new corporate incarnation on the Warners lot.

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