Josh McLaughlin is set to replace Jim Burke as President of Production at Focus Features, the Tracking Board has exclusively learned. Rather than hire an executive from outside the company, Focus decided to promote from within.
Burke is set to transition out in June and go back to his role as producer with a first-look deal at Focus. McLaughlin will be based in L.A. report to Focus President Robert Walak.
“Josh and Rebecca have been constants at Focus for years. Their genuine love of movies is at the core of what Focus stands for,” Walak said in a statement. “Josh’s deep relationships with filmmakers and actors made him the clear choice to captain a department that he has already helped to strengthen.”
In 2012, McLaughlin came on board with Focus as Senior Vice President of Production. Prior to joining Focus, he served as Executive Vice President at Chernin Entertainment. Before that, he was at the Mark Gordon Company where he was the Executive VP and Co-Head of the Motion Picture Division. While there, he produced the film Talk to Me directed by Kasi Lemmon. The biopic, which was released by Focus, starred Don Cheadle as Ralph “Petey” Greene, an ex-con who became a popular radio talk show host and community activist in Washington D.C. during the 1960s.
Focus has also made other moves with its staff. Director of Development Rebecca Arzoian, who has been at Focus since 2011, has been promoted to Vice President of Production. She has worked on Sofia Coppola’s remake of The Beguiled which will premiere at Cannes. This announcement follows the promotion of Kiska Higgs to head acquisitions and co-production.
McLaughlin has helped develop many films including The Zookeeper’s Wife, Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming The Book of Henry as well as the Charlize Theron actioner Atomic Blonde.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer