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Leipzig to help map pic path at Natl. Geo

'Zehnder,' 'Aloft,' 'Endurance' among pix in the works

Adam Leipzig has been appointed co-president of production of National Geographic Feature Films. He shares the title with fellow co-president Christine Whitaker.

Leipzig and Whitaker will share the day-to-day duties of running the L.A.-based division and oversee an expanded number of projects in development

A former Disney exec, Leipzig had previously been an indie producer (overseeing Julie Taymor’s “Titus”). He was also a producer for Interscope on such pics as “Roommates,” “Too Much” and “The Associate.”

At Disney, where he was senior VP of production, he supervised such films as “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Doctor.”

Leipzig was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Theater Center and recently helped launch William Mastrosimone’s play “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead.”

NGFF will start production in September on “Emperor Zehnder,” starring Richard Gere. Pic is being produced by Adam Schroeder, National Geographic Feature Films chairman Jake Eberts, Whitaker and Ashok Amritraj. Gregory Hoblit will direct the script by Daniel Barnz and Ned Zeman.

Company also recently acquired Alan Tennant’s new nonfiction book “Aloft,” to star Robert Redford. Erik Jendresen is adapting the book, which Redford, Eberts, Terrence Malick, Edward R. Pressman, Karen Tenkhoff and Whitaker will produce.

Other pics in development are “Endurance” about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic exploration to be directed by Wolfgang Petersen; “Undaunted Courage,” based on Stephen Ambrose’s book on the Lewis and Clark expedition; and “The Unwanted,” based on Kien Nguyen’s memoir to star Joan Chen.

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