Lionsgate has upped executive vice president of production Erin Westerman to Motion Picture Group president of production in its latest rejig of the film division.
Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake and Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane made the promotion public today.
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Westerman joined Lionsgate in October of 2017, overseeing the creative production team. She has helped push Lionsgate’s film production strategy, targeting titles projects such as Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, and the untitled Roger Ailes project starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie. She was also key in bringing the Point Grey partnership and Megamix producing deals to the studio.
Prior to joining Lionsgate, Westerman was head of creative development at Good Universe, where she worked on such films as The Disaster Artist, Neighbors 2, Always Be My Maybe, and Don’t Breathe. She also spent five years as a production executive at Disney where she oversaw production on movies Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and Into The Woods, directed by Rob Marshall, among others.
Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group has undergone a significant rejig in the past 18 months. It was announced last year that leading executives Erik Feig and Patrick Wachsberger would be moving on. Both have set up other ventures. Joe Drake returned to the Lionsgate fold at the end of 2017 and his Good Universe partner Kahane soon followed. Sony vet Matt Leonetti joined the studio as physical production president at the end of 2018 and Damon Wolf replaced Tim Palen as president of worldwide theatrical marketing in January of this year, the same month the studio layed off around 25 staff in the movie division. There was another, smaller round of cuts in March.
“Since joining Lionsgate, Erin has consistently demonstrated her outstanding taste for material as well as her keen eye for talent. Time and again, she has shown her leadership experience and steady hand while skillfully managing the process of assembling, producing and releasing a slate of studio films,” said Kahane of Westerman’s promotion. “I could not ask for a more trusted creative partner to lead our film group as President of Production. This well-deserved promotion recognizes her important work for our company as well as the respect she has earned within our industry.”
“I have been privileged to work with Nathan and Joe for many years and I’m endlessly inspired by their entrepreneurship and their passion for film and talent,” stated Westerman. “I was thrilled to come with them to Lionsgate and I’m honored to play a role in the film group’s next chapter.”
Added Drake, “Erin is a ferociously talented leader with exquisite taste. She has a relentless commitment to creative excellence ensuring that, for artists with a deep love of the theatrical experience, our studio is the home where they can truly thrive. Now she has the mandate and authority to deliver on that promise.”