×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dan Lin

Ex-exec anticipates studio's needs

When Dan Lin transitioned from Warner Bros. creative exec to producer, he hoped his finance background (Harvard Business School), understanding of studio politics and talent relations would make him a valuable bridge between studios and makers of global-minded tentpole fare.

Apparently he was right.

With five pictures on the WB release calendar for 2009, Lin’s already off and running. He’s exec producer on the McG-directed “Terminator Salvation” and the Robert Rodriguez-helmed “Shorts,” and he has producer credits on Richard Kelly’s “The Box,” starring Cameron Diaz, and the Ricky Gervais/Jennifer Garner comedy “This Side of the Truth.” He’s lead producer on Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” which begins shooting with Robert Downey Jr. in October, and is waiting for WB’s marching orders on “Justice League.”

The toughest part of this for Lin is the challenge of living on film sets and being a good dad to his two young children.

Lin has been able to grow quickly, thanks to lessons learned at the studio and connections that go back to his days at Harvard. Indeed, his classmates there were Media Rights Capital chairmen Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu; Lin is producing three MRC films that WB will distribute domestically. He credits Harvard alum Jeff Sagansky and WB topper Alan Horn as mentors.

“Coming from Warner Bros. has given me a better sense of what the studio needs, and I can communicate those points to filmmakers,” Lin says. “I became a producer to be more entrepreneurial, and I’m expanding into digital filmmaking and exploring television. When I was an exec, I worried only about production, but now it’s everything down to marketing and distribution strategies. I love it.”

“Terminator Salvation” helmer McG is among Lin’s fans: “He’s professional and talented, two characteristics rarely found in one individual. Dan is a straight shooter, which over the long haul is appreciated by both the studio and talent. Most importantly, he loves movies. I find him to be a huge asset on the set, helping balance writers, actors and directors. He lets everyone be heard while maintaining leadership.”

Fluent in Chinese (which was his first language; he moved from Taiwan to the U.S. as a child but summered in Hong Kong, where his father was an exec in international food), Lin has surrounded himself with a staff that speaks French, Spanish and German, and he’s aggressive in mining offshore properties that will lead to movies with global appeal. He’s optioned “Tokyo Underworld,” plans a remake of the Korean thriller “The Chaser” and is negotiating properties from France and Scandinavia.

“My goal has been to make big event movies for the studio, with big, established directors or up-and-comers that I believe in,” he says. “In the next 10 years, distribution pipelines will be changing, but right now, I’m enjoying the creation of content for the pipeline that currently exists.”

BACK STORY

AGE: 35

PROVENANCE: Taipei

INSPIRATION: He grew up watching U.S. films and Hong Kong actioners like the “Once Upon a Time in China” series and John Woo’s “The Killer,” which were his faves. He also grew to love gangster and cop genre pics “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas” and “Heat”; superhero movies such as the Richard Donner-directed “Superman” and Tim Burton’s “Batman”; and “Star Wars” and the “Indiana Jones” films.

More Scene

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Tina KnowlesSoul of Nation: Art in

    Jay-Z, Tina Knowles Celebrate New 'Soul of a Nation' Exhibit at Broad Museum

    “This show is so important. I mean, it’s our history — and it’s a very important part of our journey,” Tina Knowles Lawson said about Friday night’s opening of the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963 – 1983” at the Broad Museum in DTLA. “I’m just so impressed [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content