If there was any doubt that the Paramount Vantage you know and love or maybe just really like — the art-house darling responsible for An Inconvenient Truth, Babel, Margot at the Wedding, There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men (the latter two co-produced by Miramax) — was done for, please direct your sad eyes toward the front door. There you'll find Amy Israel, handing over her ID badge before fleeing her post as VP of production and acquisitions.
Her replacement, reports Variety? Guy Stodel, the New Line alumnus who brought us two Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes. Not quite Into the Wild, we suppose, but welcome to the new Paramount:
"I'm proud of having been a part of building Paramount Vantage from the ground up under John Lesher, making great films," Israel said. "I love the company we built. It's not the same company. (It) is evolving in a different direction. I wish Vantage the best."
Although the moves signal that Vantage is moving more in the genre direction, (Vantage president Nick) Meyer insists the studio is pursuing a more "eclectic and elastic" slate. "We are not abandoning the specialty business. We are too committed to it," Meyer said. "As the company evolves, we need to morph and mutate in order to survive in a challenging environment."
Now watching from the cockpit as Brad Grey flails at the mothership's controls, Lesher had also worked with Israel on Vantage's immediately forthcoming slate of projects including the Sundance doc American Teen, the Keira Knightley period flick The Duchess and the DiCaprio/Winslet reunion Revoutionary Road — a robust calendar for which the main studio is now responsible for getting over the Oscar hump. Failing that, though (and times are tough!) there's always Stodel's big 2009, with New Line/P-Mount's Friday the 13th franchise reboot set to establish Jason Voorhees as the dynamic, hockey-masked Anton Chigurh of the tween set. Sky's the limit.