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Taylor takes development reins at DWA

Schwartz segueing to produce studio's 'Mr. Peabody'

DreamWorks Animation has tapped Gregg Taylor as its new head of development. He replaces Alex Schwartz, who is switching roles at the toon studio to produce “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”

In his new post, Taylor will oversee development of all of DreamWorks Animation’s projects. He previously served as a senior development and production executive, overseeing DreamWorks Animation’s expanding franchises, including the upcoming sequel to “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Penguins of Madagascar” and the company’s various TV initiatives.

Before DWA, Taylor spent six years as executive VP of development and production for the Kennedy/Marshall Co., during which it produced “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “Persepolis” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

DWA has had a long relationship with Taylor, beginning with “Shrek,” when he ran Mike Myers’ production shingle. His credits there include “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

“Gregg is an exceptional executive with a wide range of creative experience that will positively influence our future slate,” said DreamWorks Animation chief creative officer Bill Damaschke. “I am confident that he will thrive as the new leader of DreamWorks Animation’s development team.”

Schwartz had been head of development at DWA since 2008, putting together various projects including “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “Rise of the Guardians” and “Trolls.”

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” helmed by Rob Minkoff and produced by Denise Cascino, bows March 14, 2014.

“Alex’s exemplary work in development over the years makes her an ideal choice to assume the role of producer on ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ and I look forward to her continued creative input and leadership,” Damaschke said.

Before joining DWA, Schwartz served as Walden Media’s executive VP, where she was in charge of the creative group and served as executive producer on films including “Holes,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Journey 3D to the Center of the Earth.”

“I have enjoyed four wonderful years overseeing development at DreamWorks Animation, thanks in large part to the unparalleled quality of my team, including Gregg, Damon Ross and Chris Kuser,” Schwartz said. “I am eager to take on the next creative challenge of producing ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman,’ which has long been a passion project of mine.”

DWA has two pics skedded for release in 2012: “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” and “Rise of the Guardians,” and “The Croods,” “Turbo” and “Me and My Shadow” set for 2013.

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