Johnson ankles Regency post

Exec signs three year, first-look production deal

Bridget Johnson is ankling as president of production at New Regency Films, and will segue into a three-year, first-look production deal with the company.

“I know it’s weird I didn’t stick out the X number of years on my contract,” Johnson said, “but I don’t feel passionate about being an executive. I don’t feel passionate about saying ‘no’ to everyone. I want to put my foot on the gas for a movie, rather than putting on the brakes.”

She added that “no matter how good your intentions are when you’re an exec, you’re dealing more with business and slates and marketing strategies than you are with actually shepherding individual projects and being creative. And producing movies is what I love to do and I think I’m best-suited for.”

Johnson’s first film will be “Honky!” which stars David Arquette and is being directed by Stephen Leeds. She’s producing with Brad Krevoy. It starts production in September.

Regency topper Arnon Milchan said, “When we hired Bridget a year ago, we were attracted to her creative abilities as a producer. As she concentrated on her executive duties, we lost the producer. We’re very happy to have the producer back.”

Prior to joining New Regency, Johnson served as president of motion pictures for James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films where she was a producer on “As Good as It Gets.” She was the exec in charge of production for “Jerry Maguire” and supervised post-production on Wes Anderson’s “Bottle Rocket.”

Johnson began her career in the film business in 1983 as one of the original employees at TriStar Pictures. She started as a story analyst, eventually rising to vice president of production. In 1989, Johnson moved to Walt Disney Studios, where she served as senior vice president of production for six years. In 1995, she went to work for Gracie.

Her offices will be at Regency headquarters on the Twentieth Century Fox lot.