Weinstein Co. Merges Acquisitions, Production

Dylan Sellers will head the combined division as production president Donna Gigliotti bows out. Acquisitions chief Peter Lawson to leave

The Weinstein Co. is combining its acquisitions and production departments into a single division to be overseen by Dylan Sellers (below, with Alan Horn and Hilary Duff), formerly of Unique Pictures, the company said on Tuesday.

As part of the restructuring, production president Donna Gigliotti is leaving her post and taking a producing deal with TWC and head of acquisitions Peter Lawson will leave the company when his contract expires at the end of this month.

"Now we have one team that will oversee both ends — because what Harvey (Weinstein) does best is acquisition and productions," David Glasser, The Weinstein Co.'s chief operating officer, told TheWrap on Tuesday night.

Glasser said that having Sellers join the company "is a huge opportunity.

"The idea was to give him enough of a machine that he can really dig in and execute Harvey's vision," he said, which is to produce three or four movies a year and oversee about six acquisitions.

Glasser noted that it made sense to combine acquisitions and production. For example, the company was involved in nearly every aspect of making "The King's Speech," even though the project was an acquisition.

Sellers produced the 2011 "Footloose" and the 2003 "Agent Cody Banks," among others. He most recently ran production for Unique, the company launched by former New Line chiefs Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne.

"It's an incredible opportunity in getting Dylan and being able to give him both divisions," Glasser said.

Sellers, who holds a law degree from Hastings Law School, is a former entertainment lawyer with the firm O’Melveny & Myers.

He became a creative executive at Touchstone Pictures in 1987, and moved to Simpson/Bruckheimer Productions, where he was vice president, production, in 1988. He became president of Lee Rich Productions in 1991, and executive vice president, production, at Twentieth Century Fox in 1993. At Fox, he oversaw “There’s Something About Mary,” “Kiss of Death,” “The Edge” “Nine Months,” among other movies.

Meanwhile, Glasser said, the company wanted to keep Gigliotti (above right) on as a producer because "that's really what she does best."

Gigliotti, who shared the 1999 best picture Academy Award with Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick, David Parfitt and Marc Norman, joined the company in October 2010.

Gigliotti was executive vice president of the Weinstein-run Miramax from 1993 to 1996.

Glasser said the divisions will still remain the same size, about 18 executives.

Lawson will be taking a position as president of production at Thunder Road, Basil Iwanyk’s Warner Bros-based production company.