*The director of development at Universal Pictures is leaving his post to become vp creative affairs at Will Smith’s Sony-based production company, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Franklin Leonard, the creator of the Black List, is joining Overbrook Entertainment this week as vp creative affairs. Smith runs the company along with James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz and Jada Pinkett Smith.
For the past two years, Leonard has acted as director of development at Universal, where he worked on “Fast Five” (the fifth installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise), the Vince Vaughn comedy “Couples Retreat,” the Meryl Streep romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “Devil.”
“We’re thrilled Franklin has this opportunity, and we fully support him in his move to Overbrook,” a Universal spokesperson said.
The exec is best known for creating the Black List while a development exec at Appian Way in 2005. The list, which is unveiled every December, ranks the most-liked unproduced scripts Hollywood movers and shakers have read all year and has become an anticipated event among the development community as well as a platform for screenwriters.