Just a month after his independent venture, The Film Department, shut down, former Miramax executive Mark Gill is joining Millennium Films as president. Millennium, headed by veteran film executive Avi Lerner, has been expanding its production slate recently and is aiming to produce five to eight movies a year with budgets of up to $80 million. Last year the company had a hit with the Sylvester Stallone action movie THE EXPENDABLES and its next big-budget bet is the August actioner CONAN THE BARBARIAN, to be released in the U.S. by Lionsgate.
Gill will work on production, marketing, and development at Millennium, which is part of Lerner’s international film financing and sales company Nu Image. During his four years as chief executive of The Film Department, the company produced only three movies, of which only one, the thriller LAW ABIDING CITIZEN was released in the U.S., by the now-defunct Overture Films. His attempts to launch an initial public offering in 2010 to pay down debt was unsuccessful.
Before co-founding The Film Department, Gill ran Warner Bros.’ now-shuttered specialty film unit Warner Independent Pictures, and spent eight years as an executive at Miramax Films during its 1990s heyday. Gill has 25 years of film business experience and a production track record of more than $1 billion at the box office. While his specialty has been more arthouse oriented, his addition to the Millenium team is being viewed as a bid for that company to become involved with both big-budget actioners and esteemed indies.