Toon heavyweight taps Firm's Williams for pix

HOLLYWOOD — The Firm manager Lindsay Williams will move to the Gotham Group to head its newly formed feature film literary division, effective immediately.

Williams is expected to bring with him Firm-repped screenwriters including Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (“Crazy/Beautiful,” “The Tuxedo”), Peter Wortmann and Bob Conte (“Inspector Gadget,” “Santa Clause 2″), Peter Doyle (“The Thomas Crown Affair”), and Craig Rosenberg (“Jurassic Park 3″).

A leading representation and production company in the animation biz, Gotham Group already reps such clients as producer John Williams (“Shrek”), writer John Ridley (“Undercover Brother”) and animation/CGI director Ralph Zondag (“Dinosaur”).

Company is also a force in TV animation, repping the creators and producers of skeins “Lizzie McGuire,” “Even Stevens,” “Rugrats,” “Fairly Odd Parents,” “As Told by Ginger” and “Daria” and key creative talent involved in writing, producing and directing animated series “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill” and “Beavis and Butt-head.”

Williams also reps director clients including David Gordon Green (“George Washington”), whose second film, “All the Real Girls,” debuts at Sundance; writer-director Tim McCanlies (“Iron Giant,” “Secondhand Lions”), writer-director Ron Maxwell (“Gettysburg”) and Grammy-winning musicvideo helmer Jesse Peretz. All are expected to follow him to Gotham Group.

Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Gotham Group’s founder-CEO, said Williams’ hire “will bring a wealth of experience and an impressive depth of relationships — especially with top-flight writers and directors” that will help the company make a push into live-action production.

During his time at AMG and, later, the Firm, Williams worked with filmmakers including Alfonso Cuaron, Sydney Pollack, Barry Levinson, Penny Marshall and Luis Mandoki.

Gotham Group last summer ended a three-year association with AMG as its inhouse animation label. Company also formed a strategic alliance with the William Morris Agency in August.

Gotham Group has been growing into feature production of late: It completed a seven-figure sale of client Doug TenNapel’s graphic novel “Creature Tech” to New Regency late last year and set up “The Spiderwick Chronicles” book series by clients Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi at Par/Nickelodeon. Company will produce on both projects.

Williams, who joined AMG shortly after its inception, said AMG co-founders Rick Yorn and Julie Yorn had “been incredibly supportive about my making this move.” Williams called his three years with the Yorns “a professional high point.”

Williams also praised Goldsmith-Vein as “the gold standard in family entertainment and animation” and added he hoped “to bring the same level of excellence to their work in the live-action arena.”

Before becoming a manager, Williams was a production executive with Wendy Finerman Prods. and at Artisan Entertainment.

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