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Turner Pictures Signs Dawn Steel as a Producer

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hollywood executive Dawn Steel, who turned down the chance to run Turner Pictures last year, has instead signed a contract to make movies for the company.

Turner will have first rights to all projects generated by Atlas Entertainment, a new company headed by Steel, her husband, producer Charles Roven, and his partner, Bob Cavallo.

Atlas is expected to produce two or three movies a year, including some animated features to be made in partnership with Turner’s Hanna-Barbera unit.

Steel said she opted for the production deal instead of the job running Turner Pictures because she wanted to stay on the creative side of the business. “Being an executive was not something I wanted to do again,” she said. “This gives me an opportunity to make movies, and to make them with people I respect.”

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She recently produced “Cool Runnings” and “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” for Walt Disney Co. Before that, she ran Columbia Pictures and was president of production at Paramount Pictures. She also wrote the recently published book “They Can Kill You, but They Can’t Eat You.”

Signing Steel is Atlanta-based cable titan Ted Turner’s latest move to expand his Hollywood operations. His Turner Entertainment Group recently acquired two independent production companies, New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment.

Scott Sassa, president of Turner Entertainment Group, said the company is still looking for an executive to run Turner Pictures.


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