Imagine boosts Whitaker

Imagine Entertainment has upped Jim Whitaker to vice president of production at the Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-run production company.

Whitaker joined Imagine in 1994, immediately after graduating from the USC Peter Stark Producing program. He has moved up the ranks from creative exec to director of development, and now VP of the banner. Whitaker’s introduction to the film industry came during his freshman year at Georgetown when he worked in craft services on John Waters’ 1988 film, “Hairspray.”

At Imagine, Whitaker has worked on “The Nutty Professor,” and is developing its sequel. He also has worked on such Imagine projects as the Eddie Murphy vehicle “Life,” set to be helmed by Ted Demme; “Friday Night Lights,” with Richard Linklater attached to direct; “Last Day,” based on a story by F. Gary Gray on which Gray is attached to direct; and “Johnny Diamond” and “The Gelfin.”

Whitaker is credited with bringing into Imagine the Matthew McDuffie-scripted romantic comedy, “Call Me a Cab,” which is set up at Fox 2000; and the special effects Christmas comedy, “Teeny Weenies.”

Whitaker joins a cadre of Imagine production VPs made up of Tom Reed, Maureen Peyrot, Julie Glucksman and Jan Finger.

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