Weinstock, Tzirlin to head studio talent incubator

Twentieth Century Fox has created an inhouse development program for emerging filmmakers, tapping former Chernin Entertainment exec VP Nicholas Weinstock and former Lucasfilm VP of development Steve Tzirlin to head the initiative. Move marks the latest studio effort to incubate fresh ideas and talent.

Fox exec Emma Watts will oversee the initiative.

Leadership will focus on the development of ideas from emerging writers. Weinstock will spearhead comedy development while Tzirlin will oversee action/adventure.Pair will hire five writers in each division to start the program.

“The goal for this enterprise is to create a place where original ideas are generated and where new writers can feel supported to do their best work,” said Watts in a statement.

This isn’t the first time a studio has created an inhouse incubation program. Sony and Disney are among those to launch divisions in recent memory, with Sony focusing on harnessing established writers while Disney focused more on developing talent.

In 2008, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Co. invested in an animation initiative, Fox Inkubation, aimed at developing animated series through short films.

Studio tapped Jennifer Howell, executive VP of “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Important Films, to run the venture and created an animation department to complement the program. The goal, Howell said at the time, was to have 20 to 25 projects in the pipeline at any given time.

Weinstock, a former writer and book editor, has served as exec VP of comedy at Chernin Entertainment since 2009.

Tzirlin has worked on live-action television, film, video game and animation projects at Lucasfilm for the past five years.

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