DreamWorks exec Sourian transitions to producer

Co-prexy of production signs first-look deal with studio

Longtime DreamWorks executive Mark Sourian is exiting his post as co-president of production and signing a first-look producing deal with the studio. He’ll continue working out of the company’s offices on the Universal lot.

Having taken on an expanded role on the projects he was overseeing for DreamWorks, Sourian expressed an interest in shifting his responsibilities and transitioning from studio exec to producer on those projects, which include recent acquisitions “Need For Speed” and “Starbuck,” as well as “A Dog’s Purpose.”

Sourian will take fuller responsibility for seeing projects all the way through every stage of production, and high-profile films such as Scott Waugh’s racing pic “Need For Speed” and Vince Vaughn comedy “Starbuck” are being fast-tracked to start shooting in the next six to nine months.

“Mark is a trusted and valuable member of our team. We all rely on him for his impeccable taste, his great strength with story and his unrivaled work ethic,” said Stacey Snider, co-chair and CEO of DreamWorks. “Mark has spent his entire career to date at DreamWorks and we expect to see his tenure continue far into the future. Mark is going to be an excellent producer and we’re so gratified that he’ll be doing it for us.”

Holly Bario will stay on as president of production at DreamWorks. “Holly has our full confidence and is fully capable of shepherding our slate,” Snider told Variety.

“Mark’s passion for our projects has been unflagging and, as a director, that’s something you always want in your producer,” added Steven Spielberg. “I am so happy for Mark as he takes on the mantle of producer and even happier that he’ll be doing so on some of DreamWorks’ projects.”

“Much of my professional career has been spent at DreamWorks and I am grateful for the support of Steven and Stacey, especially now as I make this transition,” said Sourian. “Their faith and guidance has prepared me for this next step and I look forward to continuing my association with DreamWorks.”

Sourian joined DreamWorks in 1997 as a development assistant and worked his way up the ranks, serving as its co-president of production for the last three years. During his tenure he has shepherded projects such as the box office smash “The Ring” and its sequel “The Ring 2,” as well as “House of Sand and Fog,” “Red Eye,” “The Kite Runner,” “Sweeney Todd,” “I Love You, Man” and most recently, Shawn Levy’s “Real Steel.” Prior to joining DreamWorks, Sourian worked for Scott Rudin.