Rob Barnum, who was COO of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures banner, has quietly left the company within the past few weeks. Behind the scenes, they are saying it was amicable and that Barnum wanted to be more of a creative producer on films instead of the executive capacity he served at Annapurna. Ellison has become one of the most prominent financiers of high-end feature fare, and she has been the catalyst for such pictures as The Terminator films that have Justin Lin and Arnold Schwarzenegger attached; the Kathryn Bigelow-directed drama about Navy SEAL Team 6′s hunt for 9/11 mastermind terrorist Osama bin Laden; Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled film; and the John Hillcoat-directed The Wettest County in the World. Ellison is very hands on with these projects, hasn’t set a replacement for Barnum and might not. I’m told that Barnum has several producing projects percolating, two with Lucas Foster and one with Cassian Elwes, and is building a film fund.
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