Rogue president in discussions for top gig

Rogue Pictures president Andrew Rona is in discussions to become president of Silver Pictures for Warner Bros.-based producer Joel Silver.

The deal hasn’t been consummated, and is predicated on Universal closing a deal to sell Rogue and its assets to Relativity. That pact is expected to be completed by year’s end.

Rona would become president of Silver Pictures and co-prexy of Dark Castle, Silver’s genre division. He would replace Silver Pictures president Susan Downey, who decided months ago not to renew her contract, ending her 10 year-run when her deal expires in February.

Downey has been in London, working on the Guy Ritchie-directed WB film “Sherlock Holmes,” which stars her husband, Robert Downey Jr. She is expected to form a company with him. At the same time, Silver exec Navid McIlhargey took an executive post at New Regency.

If and when his deal is made — the particulars were being negotiated all weekend — Rona would join Silver and chief operating officer Steve Richards. Rona would steer both Silver and Dark Castle product but get the chance to be a producer of films and have an equity upside, particularly in films generated under Silver’s Dark Castle label. Dark Castle self-finances films distributed through Warners, and Rona has spent the last decade generating those films at Rogue and, before that, at Dimension Films.

Rona would transition into the Silver job and be ready to take the reins when Downey leaves. That will allow him to continue to work on Rogue releases such as David Goyer-directed thriller “The Unborn,” which will be released Jan. 9; a remake of “The Last House on the Left” that will see release in the spring; the Dito Montiel-directed “Fighting,” with Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard, that is slated for April 24 release; and a Wes Craven-directed thriller that is in post-production.

Rona, who was the co-head of Dimension for four years with current Paramount production prexy Brad Weston, moved three years ago to Rogue, the genre division formed by David Linde and James Schamus when they ran Focus Features.

During Rona’s tenure, Rogue has released the Edgar Wright-directed “Hot Fuzz”; “The Strangers,” a $10 million film that grossed nearly $130 million worldwide; and “Balls of Fury.” He also made a deal with Platinum Dunes, the genre label formed by Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form. The label so far generated the remake “The Hitcher” and follows with “The Unborn.”

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