Fox co-prexy moves into prod’n deal

Alex Young negotiating to have a producing role

20th Century Fox co-president Alex Young is transitioning to a Fox production deal and is negotiating to have a producing role on several of the studio’s 2010 releases. 

Fox declined comment on the move, or the expectation that Emma Watts, who had been co-president of production alongside Young since 2007, would become the sole Fox president under Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos.

According to sources, Young was in talks to join the roster of producers or exec producers on a number of pics that he’s been supervising. Those may include the Tony Scott-directed “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine; the Joe Carnahan-directed “The A-Team,” starring Liam Neeson; the Oliver Stone-directed “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”; and “Robert Rodriguez’s “Predators.”

Insiders said Young sparked to the chance to become a producer for the action-driven franchise fare that has been his specialty as an exec.

Young will staff up and also come aboard eight to 10 priority development projects he acquired, putting him in position to make an immediate impact, similar to what former top studio execs like Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Scott Stuber and Michael De Luca when they transitioned.

Hired from Paramount as a vice president of production in 2002, Young has shepherded such films as “Wolverine” and “Live Free or Die Hard.” He oversaw the successful “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four” and “Aliens vs. Predator” franchises for Fox.

Fox has been a bastion of stability in recent years compared to other studios, but Young’s move is the latest shuffle for the studio’s evolving exec team. Earlier this year, the studio folded its Fox Atomic shingle, and moved label head Debbie Liebling back to an exec post at 20th.

Peter Rice left his post at Fox Searchlight to become chairman of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, and Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula stepped up to co-head the prestige film shingle. Hutch Parker, left his post as vice chairman of the 20th Century Fox Film Group to run Arnon Milchan’s New Regency with former Fox marketing chief Bob Harper. The duo took over for Sanford Panitch, who now runs Fox Intl. Prods.

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