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Granger new UA production head

New projects include 'Lambs,' 'Valkyrie'

Continuing its ramp-up, United Artists has tapped veteran production exec Don Granger as prexy of production.

Granger’s resume includes supervising 35 films at Paramount, including pics in the “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Trek” and “Tomb Raider” franchises, and later serving as production head at Cruise/Wagner Prods. He’ll report to studio chief Paula Wagner.

Granger’s already been working at the revived UA, overseeing production of the first two films — “Lions for Lambs,” directed by Robert Redford and starring Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise, and “Valkyrie,” with Bryan Singer to direct and Cruise to star.

He told Daily Variety that UA’s beefing up its production and development ranks in the near future. Move comes five months after Cruise and C/W partner Wagner took MGM topper Harry Sloan’s offer to resuscitate the UA label and make four to six films per year.

“UA has always been a home for signature films and original stories, so we’re trying to stay true to that legacy,” Granger added. Granger broke into showbiz in 1987 at Weintraub Entertainment Group, then joined Touchstone the following year and began a 12-year stint at Paramount in 1990, rising to exec VP of production and overseeing “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “Varsity Blues,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Along Came a Spider” and “Saving Private Ryan,” among other pics.

In 2001, Granger partnered with Gary Levinsohn to create Mutual Film Co., where he exec produced “Timeline” and “Snakes on a Plane.” He joined Cruise/Wagner as a senior exec in charge of development and production in 2004 and oversaw “War of the Worlds,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Elizabethtown” and upcoming pic “The Eye.”

Granger also served as producer with Cruise/Wagner on “Ask the Dust.”

“Tom and I have a long history with Don Granger, and we’ve always valued his great filmmaker relationships, his terrific taste in material and the tremendous intelligence he brings to development and production,” Wagner said. “He’s been an integral part of our team for many years now, and we are delighted that our association is continuing at UA.”

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