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Netflix hires ‘It’ producer Dan Lin for top film job, replacing Scott Stuber

Meg James and Wendy Lee – Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Netflix announced that film producer Dan Lin has been named chairman of the streaming company’s film division, replacing longtime movie chief Scott Stuber.

Lin has achieved much success by producing tentpole live-action and animated movies, including the “Lego” and “It” movies for Warner Bros. and the recent live-action series adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” for Netflix. He also worked with the Los Gatos-based streaming giant on the Oscar-nominated film “The Two Popes.”

Since forming his production company, Rideback, about 15 years ago, Lin has produced films that have grossed $6 billion at the box office worldwide, Netflix said.

Lin’s production company is located in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown neighborhood, an enclave that also includes the home base for Ava DuVernay’s Array.

The Taipei, Taiwan-born producer will start at the Sunset Boulevard Netflix campus on April 1. Stuber announced earlier this year that he would step down in mid-March to form his own entertainment company.

Lin will report to Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer, who previously ran global television at the company.

“Dan’s experience as both an executive and a producer is marked by a consistent ability to draw in exceptional filmmakers,” Bajaria said. “But what really got my attention was his creation of Rideback, a dynamic community for filmmakers, fostering collaborative and creative environments. His visionary approach has led to the establishment of incubators and residencies, propelling the careers of extraordinary talent, as well as a steady slate of blockbuster films.”

Lin’s resume goes beyond the blockbuster “Lego Movie” franchise and Stephen King’s horror films. He produced the mystery thriller “Sherlock Holmes” film franchise for Warner Bros. and the live-action remake “Aladdin” and “Haunted Mansion” for Disney. He’s currently in production on Disney’s live-action remake of “Lilo & Stitch.”

In television, Lin produces the series “Walker,” starring Jared Padalecki, for the CW network and CBS Studios. Lin is in postproduction on an upcoming Hulu series, “Interior Chinatown,” based on Charles Yu’s novel of the same name.

Before launching his own company, Lin worked at Warner Bros. Pictures as a senior vice president of production. He joined that Burbank studio as an intern under film executive Lorenzo di Bonaventura in 1999. At the time, he was a 25-year-old student pursuing an MBA at Harvard with no Hollywood connections. He left Warner Bros. in 2007 after contributing to major motion pictures including Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning drama “The Departed.”

“While I’ve been approached many times during my past 15 years at Rideback, I could truly never imagine leaving until Bela reached out with this incredible opportunity,” Lin said in Wednesday’s release, adding that he felt the move to Netflix was “a natural transition” because of his prior experience with the company and its determination to engage global audiences.

“Bela’s vision for the Netflix film division immediately interested me as it aligned so strongly with my own personal and professional values and what we have been building at Rideback,” Lin said. “It’s always been my aspiration at Rideback to make movies with worldwide appeal and universal themes, and there is no better place to do that than at the company with the widest global audience.”

Lin’s hiring comes two days after Walt Disney Co. announced that its live-action film production head, Sean Bailey, was leaving the Burbank studio to focus on producing movies, including the next installment of “Tron.” Bailey reportedly was in the running for the Netflix job.

Lin has long been on the short list for big studio jobs. He held conversations with Warner Bros. to lead the DC Studios film slate, but the company ultimately hired filmmaker James Gunn and Peter Safran for the role.

Lin has been a leader in other ways, including as efforts to nurture diverse talent took on greater urgency in Hollywood.

Lin, who identifies as Asian American, launched an accelerator program about two years ago. He established Rideback Rise, a nonprofit meant to boost creatives who are Black, Indigenous and people of color through fellowships and networking events to help a new generation of creators get the support they need to take their careers to the next stage.

On Wednesday, Lin said he would pass “the reins” at Rideback to newly installed co-Chief Executives Jonathan Eirich and Michael LoFaso.

Stuber, who joined Netflix in 2017, oversaw the streamer’s growth in the production and release of original movies, making Netflix one of Hollywood’s biggest producers in terms of volume.

Under his tenure, the company released widely seen movies including the action flick “Red Notice” and sci-fi film “The Adam Project,” as well as critically acclaimed films such as Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.”

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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