Exec vet would help launch distrib
GK-TV division. Company’s focus is on programming with strong international appeal in an effort to capitalize on the growing appetite at U.S. nets for international co-production and co-financing deals. King’s partner in GK Films is Texas oil billionaire and entrepreneur Tim Headington. Should Berney sign with King, he’d be another major hire following longtime Sony exec Peter Schlessel’s hire last week as president of GK Films. Schlessel has been Sony’s president of worldwide affairs and was instrumental in sealing a distribution pact between Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group and GK Films last year. Since GK Films three-year pact with Sony Worldwide will cover a number of King’s upcoming productions, it’s likely that Berney would be in the market to acquire specialty fare to fill the new distribution outfit’s pipeline. Berney’s best known for overseeing the distribution of “The Passion of the Christ,” “Memento” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” He later headed specialty distrib Picturehouse, which was shuttered by Warner Bros. two years ago. Three-year-old GK Films has produced “The Young Victoria” — which Apparition distributed domestically — and “Edge of Darkness.” It produced “The Town” for Warner Bros., “Rum Diary,” with Johnny Depp, “The Tourist,” starring Angelina Jolie and Depp, and animated adventure “Rango.” GK Films is in pre-production on “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” with Martin Scorsese attached to direct. It is also developing a feature rendition of the vampire soap “Dark Shadows,” which ran on ABC from 1966-71, for Warners.
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