New Line’s Witten heads to Paramount

Exec helped secure Sandler's picture deal

New Line senior veep Brian Witten, who was instrumental in securing Adam Sandler’s two-picture deal with the studio, is ankling the company for Paramount Pictures, where he’s expected to be named exec veep.

The change is significant — both for New Line, which is losing a top exec, and for Paramount, which has kept the same tightly knit family of execs for nearly a decade.

Witten recently helped New Line bring in a romantic comedy pitch from Sandler for scribe Mark Andrus (“As Good as It Gets”) to pen (Daily Variety, March 23).

Since joining New Line in 1994, Witten has been an active exec at the mini-major, overseeing such pics as P.J. Hogan’s “Unconditional Love” and Sandler’s “Little Nicky.”

New Line prexy Michael De Luca called Witten “one of our most prolific production executives” at the time of his promotion to senior veep last July.

Prior to joining New Line, Witten was veep for interactive motion picture and TV productions at Extreme Studios, where he was responsible for licensing and packaging the company’s comic book properties.

Sources at Paramount could not be reached for comment late Thursday; New Line confirmed Witten’s departure.

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