Though he founded Warner Bros.'  specialty film unit and was responsible for the acclaimed March of the Penguins and Good Night, and Good Luck, Warner Independent Pictures President Mark Gill resigned under pressure yesterday after repeated conflicts with the studio on a host of issues, including the direction of the company. Gill, who previously worked at companies such as Miramax Films and Columbia Pictures, was given a two-year production deal with Warners. Warner Bros. Pictures executive Polly Cohen is expected to succeed Gill. Whereas Gill has worked in independent film for a long time, Cohen has mainly worked on big budget films such as the Harry Potter series and Superman Returns.

Here's why I think Warner Bros. is in trouble in terms of carving out a specialty film niche: Polly Cohen oversaw movies like Must Love Dogs and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, people. And Gill's departure seems more personal than anything else; he reportedly sparred with Warner's production President Jeff Robinov from day one on the job. According to Reuters, Gill's future with Warners had been dicey from the get-go; his departure was "surprising more for its abruptness than its inevitability." Maybe I'm being unfair to Cohen -- it may be that she just needed a chance to do specialized film (she did work on the production team for Three Kings in the past). However, she also helmed Scooby Doo, and oh dear, did you know that there was also a Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed?
categories Movies, Cinematical