Yorn’s Firm grasp on shingle

Exec sets sights on packaging pix

Firm Films topper Beau Flynn is negotiating to ankle the shingle and partner with fellow Firm exec Tripp Vincent in a new production venture.

Firm partner Julie Yorn will take over the shingle, with packaging client films as her primary focus.

Yorn, who has become increasingly involved with the Firm’s production arm in recent months, will continue to manage a select group of clients. She also plans to make additional hires at the production company.

Exiting with Flynn and Vincent is Lucy Rimalower, who will become director of development at the new operation. Several assistants will also be moving out of Firm offices.

Flynn, whose deal was up this summer, told Daily Variety that the parting was amicable and that he and Vincent would continue to steer projects they developed at the Firm. Sources said Flynn was committing his time to projects more as a producer than as an executive.

Flynn said his shingle would continue to work with the Firm on a nonexclusive basis.

Flynn and Vincent will partner with Firm Films on a number of upcoming titles. Currently prepping is the Ron Brinkerhoff-Jamie Vanderbilt-scripted “The Guardian” at Disney and the Rob Zombie-directed “The Devil’s Rejects: House of 1000 Corpses 2” for Lions Gate Films, both for summer starts.

Also in the works is the Ted Griffin-Sean Bailey-scripted “Solace” at New Line Cinema and “Number 23,” another New Line drama that Joel Schumacher is expected to direct from a Fernley Phillips script.

Firm Films just wrapped its first studio feature, the Brett Ratner-directed “After the Sunset” with Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek for New Line, and is in production on “The Wild,” a 3-D animated feature for Disney.

The shingle exec produced two pics: the Scott Caan-directed “Dallas 362” and “11:14,” the Greg Marcks-directed film with Hilary Swank.

Before joining the Firm (which is headed by Jeff Kwatinetz), Flynn spent eight years producing under his Bandeira banner. Pics included the Darren Aronofsky-directed “Requiem for a Dream,” “The House of Yes” and Schumacher’s “Tigerland.”

“When I first met Jeff, his business was mostly music, and he wanted a feature presence,” Flynn said. “His core business has grown, but in a way that reaffirmed my desire to focus on simply making films and not being part of this large corporation. Julie will segue nicely into packaging movies for them. That just wasn’t my background.”

After drafting Flynn, Kwatinetz acquired AMG and its remaining assets after the departure of Michael Ovitz. Since then, Kwatinetz has been engaged in a campaign to streamline his shingle to its core businesses.

Toward that end, the Firm has been phasing out its TV business. It dissolved a TV production arm led by Scott Vila last year after 20th Century Fox TV declined to pick up the second year on a two-year deal.

The Firm’s last two TV lit managers, Jonathan Baruch (who also handled film clients) and Kevin Kassover, recently ankled. Both well-respected managers are expected to announce their next moves shortly.

Rob Wolken, who headed TV management, left last March.

The music department also underwent a modest downsizing. Nine assistants were pinkslipped, with their tasks picked up by a number of recently promoted junior managers.

(Michael Schneider contributed to this report.)

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