Mike Fleming

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced that it launched Virgin Produced, a joint venture with Relativity Media for TV development, packaging and production. What the company didn’t say is that it chose as its chief creative officer and overseer of development the most diabolical of the menacing siblings from Malcolm in the Middle. Justin Berfield, who has grown up and transitioned from actor to producer with J2 partner Jason Felts, has taken that post for Branson. Felts is CEO, and they will make product to be distributed through the Rogue label. Berfield isn’t the only former kid actor I’ve come across recently who has transitioned to adulthood behind the camera. Another is Peter Billingsley, who directed the Universal comedy Couples Retreat, you have to look close to see signs of his childhood identity, as the kid who nearly shot his eye out with a BB gun in The Christmas Story. Berfield has gotten producing credits on some movies and TV projects over the past several years, and he and Felts are still working on a pic about Grateful Dead singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia.