NEW YORK — After 16 years with Miramax Films, including seven as co-prexy of production, Meryl Poster will exit the mini-major this week.
Move had been expected, with Poster giving Miramax co-toppers Bob and Harvey Weinstein notice last summer that she would not be renewing her contract when it expired.
Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s temporarily named Weinstein Co. is talking to candidates to take on the role of production head; an announcement is expected shortly.
During her Miramax tenure, Poster was known for her ability to build strong relationships with talent, and she exec produced films including “Chicago,” “Chocolat,” “The Cider House Rules,” “Cop Land,” “The Shipping News” and “Kate & Leopold.”
She began at the mini-major in 1989 as exec assistant to Harvey Weinstein and subsequently rose through the ranks to hold a number of key production jobs. She was upped to production co-head in 1998 after holding the title of exec veep of production.
“I’ve had an incredible experience working with Harvey and Bob Weinstein for the past 16 years,” Poster told Daily Variety. “Now is the perfect time to embark on new challenges of my own.”
She added that she is exploring opportunities and plans to make an announcement regarding her next move in September, after taking time off to spend with her family.
“There is nobody more loyal than Meryl,” Harvey Weinstein told Daily Variety on Wednesday. “Her contribution has been enormous. She forged some of the best talent relationships that we’ve had. She is more than a executive, she is a friend and colleague who I cherish, and she had the courage of her convictions to knock me on my ass.”
“Meryl’s relationship with actors and directors is unsurpassed,” said “Chicago” helmer Rob Marshall. “During her time at Miramax, she brilliantly navigated the waters with an extraordinary personal touch.”
Helmer Lasse Hallstrom said, “Meryl has superb creative and producing instincts. She not only values the artistic process but also is a true collaborator. She champions the integrity of a film from start to finish and always stands by the filmmaker’s vision.”
Last summer, with Miramax in limbo amid protracted contract talks between the Weinsteins and corporate parent the Walt Disney Co., Poster took a sabbatical to spend time with her family during a sharp production slowdown for the usually robust operation.
The Weinsteins ultimately resolved their dispute with the Mouse House amicably, inking a separation deal to build their own media entity while keeping their Dimension Films shingle and participating in a number of projects with Disney.
Disney is expected to name a new exec team to take control of Miramax as soon as today. The Weinsteins will remain in a transitional role through the end of September.
Poster’s fellow co-prexy of production, Jon Gordon, is also expected to exit the company, and rumors have swirled about various studio posts he may take.
Weinsteins recently named former Artisan prexy of development and production and veteran New Line exec Richard Saperstein as exec veep and head of production for Dimension.