Jashni takes Legendary creative post

Jon Jashni has ankled as president of Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment to take the top creative post at Warners-based Legendary Pictures.

Jashni’s official title is chief creative officer.

Legendary, backed by private investment money, is co-financing and co-producing a number of high-profile Warner Bros. Pictures films, including “Superman Returns” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Lady in the Water.”

Move marks a homecoming of sorts for Jashni, who formerly ran Warners-based production shingle Giant Pictures with partner Irving Azoff, turning out pics including Denzel Washington starrer “The Hurricane.”

Hire answers the question of who will run development for Legendary, which originally tapped former TriStar production head Chris Lee for the job when it announced its launch this summer. But Lee, already a producer on “Superman Returns,” decided to stay with the summer 2006 tentpole on a day-to-day capacity.

Thomas Tull, Legendary’s chairman-CEO, said Jashni is ideally suited for the post because of his production experience and his contacts at the studio.

Legendary’s intent is to invest at least $500 million in a slate of 25 Warners films over the next five years. In return, Legendary will take half of all profits.

Jashni, who joined Hyde Park in 2002, was a producer on the company’s two most recent films, Touchstone’s “Shopgirl” and DreamWorks’ “Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story.” Amritraj’s production, financing and international sales venture has a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox and a second-look deal with Disney.

“Jon has done a terrific job for me, and I wish him all the best,” Amritraj said.

Before Hyde Park, Jashni was an independent producer on pics including “Sweet Home Alabama” and helmer Andy Tennant’s “Anna and the King.”

Jashni had worked with Tennant on “Ever After” as a production exec at Columbia Pictures. At Col, Jashni also was involved in the development and production of films including “Groundhog Day,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “Mo’ Money.”

Jashni began his career at Daniel Melnick’s IndieProd Company Prods. (“Air America,” “Mountains of the Moon”).

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