Cutler new topper at production house

Irwin Winkler has tapped CAA agent Jill Cutler to become president of Winkler Films.

Cutler, who spent 15 years at CAA, replaces Rob Cowan, Winkler’s longtime collaborator, who left last week to produce films on his own.

Cutler repped screenwriters, producers and directors. She worked with Winkler on the development of such films as “Home of the Brave,” the Winkler-directed drama that will be released Dec. 15 by MGM. The pic stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, 50 Cent and Brian Presley.

Winkler said before Cowan decided to exit after 15 years, they’d already decided to beef up their development staff and generate more projects. Winkler said Cutler had become someone whose taste and recommendations he trusted; when Cowan decided to leave, Winkler gave her the top post.

“Rob’s decision to go on his own coincided with Jill’s decision that she was ready for a change,” Winkler said.

Winkler had a hand in a pair of projects that will test the marketing and distribution mettle of the reconstituted MGM. Aside from “Home of the Brave,” there is “Rocky Balboa,” the sixth installment of the boxing-pic franchise. Winkler produced the first five with Robert Chartoff. They’ve left the heavy lifting to their kids this time, with Billy Chartoff producing with Charles and David Winkler.

“This is a good test for MGM, and so far they’ve done a hell of a job marketing both films,” Winkler said.

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