'Sopranos' Producer Tipped To Head ParamountBy Caillan
January 3, 2005 - 9:20 AM
The manager of Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler and Nicholas Cage is reportedly in discussions to become the new head honcho at Paramount Pictures.
Hollywood talent executive Brad Grey, who numbers behind-the-scenes roles on The Sopranos and The Larry Sanders Show among his producing credits, is expected to be announced as the replacement for departing studio chief Sherry Lansing sometime this week, according to reports from the Reuters news agency and the New York Times. Lansing, who supervised numerous Star Trek feature films during her 12 years at Paramount, announced her intention to step down at the end of 2005 in November last year (story).
The rumours of Grey's imminent appointment have caused some in the industry to raise their eyebrows. Although considered a success in television, having won an Emmy for The Sopranos and received numerous other nominations for Politically Incorrect and The Larry Sanders Show, Grey's feature film career has been more chequered. 2000's What Planet Are You From? is often cited as his biggest silver screen misfire, with other bombs including The Replacement Killers and City By The Sea. "No studio in memory has ever brought in a head of production so lacking in formal filmmaking credentials or corporate experience," wrote Variety's editor-in-chief Peter Bart.
If he is appointed to the Paramount post, Grey will be forced to sell his talent management company, Brillstein-Grey, and step down from other production roles in television and film. He is currently involved in the Tim Burton-directed remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Martin Scorsese's The Departed, which are expected to be released in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
Reporting to Viacom co-presidents Tom Freston and Les Moonves (who also runs CBS and Enterprise network UPN), Grey would be responsible for shepherding any eleventh potential Star Trek feature film through production. Star Trek overseer Rick Berman last year said that planning for such a movie is in its early stages (story).