Bryan Unkeless also upped to senior VP, production

Brad Simpson has joined production company Color Force as a partner as part of plans by “The Hunger Games” producer Nina Jacobson to amp up the 5-year-old banner.

Simpson produced the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” films with Jacobson and will focus on expanding Color Force’s production slate.

Jacobson has also promoted development exec Bryan Unkeless to senior VP of production.

“We’ve been pretty lean, so bringing in Brad is our way of telling the town that we’re ready to do a lot more,” she told Variety. “He has great relationships all over town.”

Unkeless is co-producer on the “The Hunger Games,” which Jacobson is producing and Lionsgate is releasing on March 23. They are in early pre-production on the second “Hunger Games” film, “Catching Fire,” which is targeted for release in November 2013.

Simpson and Jacobson are currently producing “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.” He’s also exec producing Paramount’s Brad Pitt starrer “World War Z.”

Jacobson said Simpson’s producing talents on the “Wimpy” pics enabled her to focus on “The Hunger Games.” Jacobson obtained the feature rights to “Hunger Games” in early 2009, and Lionsgate made its distribution deal a few weeks later.

From 2004-07, Simpson was president of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. He began his career at independent production company Killer Films, where he was as an exec and a producer from 1996-2004 and co-produced “Far From Heaven.”

Simpson’s deal was negotiated by Alan Wertheimer of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.

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