Obst hires 2, raises 1 for pic development

Bertolli, Scanlan join, while Messer is upped

Paramount-based Lynda Obst Prods. has hired John Bertolli and Dana Scanlan to head up its development team. Meredith Messer, Obst’s former assistant, has been promoted to development exec.

Bertolli joins the company from his former post as co-head of production at Destination Films and before that senior veep of Orion/MPCA.

He was also head of development at 3 Arts Entertainment and vice prexy of development for Robert Lawrence Prods. at 20th Century Fox.

Bertolli exec produced “Thomas and the Magic Railroad” and “Beverly Hills Ninja” and produced “Gang Related,” “Music From Another Room” and “Beautiful.”

Kushner-Locke vet

Scanlan was formerly senior vice president of production at the Kushner-Locke Co., where she exec produced and co-produced such family fare and cable premieres as “They Nest,” “Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula,” “Wolf Girl,” “Excalibur Kid,” “Mysterious Museum,” “Shapeshifter,” “Adventure Express,” “Phantom Town” and “The Clockmaker.”

“I’m delighted to have two first-rate executives such as John Bertolli and Dana Scanlan to help me acquire, develop and produce pictures at Paramount,” Linda Obst said. “John’s proven entrepreneurial skills will be put to great use here, and Dana’s insightful development skills will be critical in getting our pictures going.”

Currently, Obst is producing two upcoming Par releases, Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan’s directorial debut, “Abandon,” starring Katie Holmes and Benjamin Bratt, and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, directed by Donald Petrie (“Miss Congeniality”). Obst is producing the latter with Robert Evans and Christine Peters. Pic is due to start shooting June 19.

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