Paseornek renews deal at studio

Lionsgate prexy of production Michael Paseornek has reupped his deal at the indie studio for four years.

The low-key Paseornek has been the guiding force in building the studio’s inhouse production division, a unit that has thrived on keeping costs down and box office interest high. If there’s a “Lionsgate model,” Paseornek is one of the chief architects.

During Paseornek’s nine-year stint as prexy, he’s overseen all the company’s film development and production initiatives, particularly focusing on urban-themed titles such as “Akeelah and the Bee” and Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

“Mike possesses an unbeatable combination of great taste and great business acumen, and he’s launched the careers of some of today’s finest and most successful filmmakers,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.

Paseornek founded the U.S. operation of Cinepix Film Properties in New York. Lionsgate bought it in 1997, and Paseornek assumed the role of production prexy at Lionsgate.

During Paseornek’s tenure, Lionsgate’s production division has made a name for itself in urban, genre and comedy fare. In the urban area, he’s forged production deals with the multihyphenate Perry, Bernie Mac, bestselling author Zane and gospel icon Kirk Franklin.

Lionsgate’s current urban production slate includes Perry’s third film for the studio, “Daddy’s Little Girls”; the screen adaptation of Zane’s erotic thriller “Addicted”; the inspirational drama “Pride,” starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac; and Mac’s first concert film since “The Original Kings of Comedy.”

In the genre field, Lionsgate will soon begin pre-production with Cruise/Wagner Prods. on the remake of “The Eye,” starring Jessica Alba.

Paseornek is also guiding the company’s comedy efforts, overseeing the studio’s slate and also producing the recent “Employee of the Month,” starring Dane Cook, and the upcoming “Good Luck Chuck,” with Alba and Cook.

As for Lionsgate’s prestige films, Paseornek is at work on “Atlas Shrugged,” starring Angelina Jolie; and “Kid Delicious,” the life story of the top U.S. pool player.

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