Exec named co-president of the studio

As Marvel Entertainment prepares to hand over the keys of its comicbook kingdom to Disney, the company has begun making staff changes at its film division in anticipation of an increase in the number of movies it makes.

Louis D’Esposito has been upped from president of physical production to co-president of Marvel Studios.

He will work alongside current film prexy Kevin Feige to oversee the studio’s production schedule. Both report to Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter.

D’Esposito had been key in overseeing the budgets and timelines of Marvel’s slate of self-financed films, including the “Iron Man” franchise, “The Incredible Hulk” reboot, as well as “Thor,” “The First Avenger: Captain America” and “The Avengers,” which are skedded through 2012.

Feige called D’Esposito “an incredible friend and collaborator, and his expertise within the film industry steering the budgetary and operational demands of moviemaking is instrumental in taking our characters from the pages of comicbooks to the bigscreen.”

D’Esposito served as an executive producer on “Iron Man” and its sequel next summer.

He’s also exec produced Sony’s “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Zathura” and “S.W.A.T.” and served as first assistant director on dozens of pics, including “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Stuart Little 2,” “The Glass House” and “Hollow Man.”

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