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USA Films drafts D’Works prod’n exec

Williamson supervised 'Perdition,' 'Mexican,' 'Forces of Nature'

USA Films president of production Donna Gigliotti is ankling her post and will be replaced by senior DreamWorks production exec Glenn Williamson, who will join the company next week.

Williamson, whose hire was anticipated (Daily Variety, July 2), will be based in Los Angeles and will report to USA Films chairman Scott Greenstein.

The Gotham-based Gigliotti, who spent the last two years at USA Films, will return to producing and will continue to work with USA Films through the release of the last two productions she oversaw for the company. Robert Altman’s “Gosford Park” is slated for a Dec. 21 release, while Neil LaBute’s “Possession” is expected to bow next spring.

“Donna Gigliotti has been a significant asset to USA Films and our first full slate of productions,” said Greenstein. “We all wish her great success in her future endeavors, and look forward to continuing to work with her closely.”

Greenstein told Daily Variety that Williamson’s hire reflects the fact that USA Films is “getting more aggressive about making movies, and doing more than traditional indie or arthouse production.”

Williamson also will fill the role of USA Films’ Los Angeles-based production point person, one of the roles left vacant by former USA Films president Russell Schwartz when he left to head marketing for New Line Cinema in June.

‘Heaven’ sent

The first USA Films production to go under Williamson’s watch will be Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” starring Julianne Moore, which goes before the cameras Oct. 18.

Williamson comes to USA Films after four years as a senior production executive at DreamWorks. During that time, he brought to the company Alan Ball’s spec script for “American Beauty” and oversaw production on the film, which went on to win five Oscars.

He also supervised the production of Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous,” which earned Crowe an Academy Award for original screenplay.

Other DreamWorks productions supervised by Williamson include Sam Mendes’ just-wrapped “Road to Perdition,” Gore Verbinski’s “The Mexican” and Bronwen Hughes’ “Forces of Nature,” which was based on Williamson’s own story idea.

Prior to his exit, Williamson had been overseeing development of “The Tuxedo,” to star Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt; “Catch Me If You Can,” to star Leonardo DiCaprio; and Walter Salles’ “The Assumption.”

“Having Glenn join USA Films is a truly rewarding moment in our still-early evolution,” said Greenstein. “He has worked on many of the best films of the past few years, and has the respect and admiration of the entire industry.”

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Williamson began his development career at Sony-based Aerial Pictures, which was headed by DreamWorks co-heads Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Williamson went with the pair when they joined Amblin Entertainment, where he was an executive on Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Men in Black.”

Prior to joining Parkes and MacDonald at Aerial, Williamson worked in production with Crowe on “Singles” and Tim Burton on “Edward Scissorhands.” His first film industry job was at Castle Rock Entertainment, following a two-year stint working in advertising in New York City.

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