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Gordon ends short U stint

Ex-Miramax exec leaves after less than a year

Jon Gordon is ankling as Universal production prexy less than a year since joining the studio after spending 15 years at Miramax.

U has no plans to replace him; Donna Langley will be the sole production prexy at the studio.

Gordon’s final day at U is still to be determined, as well as what he does next.

“Obviously, this is sudden. There are talks under way and things are not resolved now,” Gordon told Daily Variety. “I have no animosity towards these guys. I think there is a really good team in place,” he said.

Gordon started at Universal in October.

He began his career at Miramax in 1990 as an intern before rising to co-prexy of production, leaving the mini-major the same day that Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s employment contracts expired with the Disney-owned division.

Gordon declined comment on his future plans, but he retains some ties to film talent. Among the U projects he was overseeing is Matt Damon starrer “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

“I first met him on ‘Good Will Hunting’ when he was at Miramax, so I started getting script notes from him 11 years ago and we remain good friends,” Damon said on Thursday. “He’s the person in the business whose opinion I value most.”

Gordon also was overseeing “The Kingdom,” starring Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper and currently in production in Arizona. Pic, helmed by Peter Berg and produced by Michael Mann and Scott Stuber, is about a team of counterterrorism agents investigating an attack on Americans in an Arab country.

When Gordon joined Universal, Stacey Snider was still chair, but Marc Shmuger and David Linde were appointed to replace her after she left for DreamWorks earlier this year.

Snider had upped Langley and hired Gordon to replace former production vice chairs Stuber and Mary Parent when they left to form their own U-based production company.

Gordon said that his relationship with Snyder was key. “I had lengthy discussions with Stacey, and I felt very compatible with her. It was really my main motivation for going there,” he said.

While Langley was promoted in April of last year, there was some talk that she would have the prexy title to herself. But talks soon began to bring Gordon over and they were finalized that summer, though Gordon had to wait until his Miramax contract ended on Sept. 30 before he could start the new U gig (Daily Variety, Aug. 8).

With her five-month head start in the production post, Langley was well established by the time Gordon arrived.

Soon after he moved to U, Gordon recruited Erica Steinberg, another longtime Miramax vet, to join him at the studio as a senior veep.

But Steinberg also quickly departed, leaving several months ago, and is now a producer on the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez double feature “Grind House,” in production for the Weinstein Co.

U declined comment.

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