New title, expanded duties is studio’s stamp of approval

In a move that may clarify succession questions at the studio, Greg Silverman has been upped to the newly created post of exec VP of creative development and production for Warner Bros. Pictures.

The promotion is effective Jan. 1 with Silverman reporting to studio president Jeff Robinov with oversight of development and production. He’s also charged with diversifying and building upon the Warner slate.

Studio made the move Monday, five weeks after production president Kevin McCormick announced plans to ankle the slot for a producing deal at the end of the year. At that point, the studio said McCormick’s slot would not be filled immediately.

Placing Silverman, currently an exec VP of production, into the expanded role represents an endorsement of the studio’s strategy of focusing on tentpoles andfranchises. He’s shepherded a trio of Warner’s most successful recent entries — “The Dark Knight,” “300” and “The Hangover” — and is overseeing “Jonah Hex,” “Inception,” “Sucker Punch” and “Green Lantern.” He is well-liked among producers for being straightforward and responsive.

The shift leaves the studio with three other exec VPs of production in Jessica Goodman, Lynn Harris and Courtenay Valenti.

“As his track record clearly indicates, Greg has an uncanny ability to tap into cultural trends as well as his extensive relationships in the creative community to deliver what audiences want,” said Robinov.

Warner Bros. is enjoying an impressive year at the box office, leading all studios with $1.83 billion through Sunday, beating the studio record of $1.78 billion in 2008.

Silverman initially joined Warner Bros. in 1999 as a junior production exec and worked on “The Matrix,” “A Perfect Murder” and “Cats and Dogs.”

He then joined Revolution as senior VP before returning to Warners in 2002 as veep of production. He was promoted to senior VP in 2004 and exec VP in 2006.

Other pics he’s shepherded for WB include “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Bucket List,” “Batman Begins,” “Troy,” “Get Smart” and “Yes Man.”

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