Prod'n co. taps exec as senior veep in Gotham

Renee W. Witt has been named senior VP for Laura Ziskin Prods., based in the company’s New York office.

She will be responsible for expanding Ziskin’s presence on the East Coast by drawing on her relationships with New York-based literary agents, talent managers, emerging and established directors and playwrights.

Witt joins story editor Kristin Lewandowski in New York and Leslie Morgan in Los Angeles as part of Ziskin’s production team.

“Renee and I have chased the same material for years,” Ziskin said. “I am delighted we are finally joining forces. There is a tremendous amount of talent in New York that we hope to mine together.”

Witt spent the past eight years at New Line Cinema in New York, where she acquired and developed properties such as “About a Boy”; “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” adapted from the bestselling Dave Eggers novel; and “Motherless Brooklyn,” which is being adapted and will star Edward Norton. Upcoming projects include “The Parker Grey Show,” to star Kate Hudson, and “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” a potential starring vehicle for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

She began her career at William Morris in 1992 as an agent trainee in the lit department working for Owen Lester and Joni Evans.

Witt joined New Line as a story editor at subsidiary Fine Line Features in 1995. She was promoted to creative exec at New Line in 1998 and director of development the next year. In 2000, Witt advanced to VP, production and development, at the company.

Ziskin, whose upcoming “Spider-Man 2″ will be released this summer amid much buzz, has long relied on her New York office to mine projects. She hired New York playwright and “Full Frontal” writer Coleman Hough to pen a film about newspaper magnate Katharine Graham and, along with Miramax, commissioned an adaptation of Paul Watkins’ thriller “The Forger,” by Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright David Auburn.

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