Their appointments are effective immediately, and both report jointly to UMG Executive Vice President Michele Anthony and Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, reflecting the unique and important role that publishing and recorded music play in creating film, television and theatrical properties.
Blackman, who was involved with films such as Last Vegas, The Devil Wears Prada and a variety of music-driven projects while running the company of Dreamgirls producer Laurence Mark, has been named to the newly created role of Head of Film and Television Development and Production.
He will oversee the development and production of film, television and other video projects globally across Universal Music, working closely with its labels, as well as coordinate projects with other Vivendi companies including Studio Canal.
Landis, a Tony- and Drama Desk Award-winning theater producer behind such productions as the critically acclaimed first-ever London revival of Funny Girl, and the Broadway productions of Twelfth Night/Richard III, starring Mark Rylance, Nice Work If You Can Get It, starring Matthew Broderick and Venus In Fur, among others, will serve as a special advisor on theatrical development and production.
In that role, he will assist the company in forging stronger ties with the theater community, building partnerships and helping develop and produce projects based on Universal Music’s roster of artists and music library.”
Music is not only essential to film, television and theater, but the stories behind our artists and their music offer narratives that provide a natural foundation to build exciting and compelling experiences for audiences around the world,” Gerson said.
“With David and Scott, we’re focused on working with the Hollywood and Broadway communities on delivering stories that will delight fans, reach new audiences and open up new commercial opportunities for our songwriters and our legendary music catalog.”
Anthony added, “David and Scott will further grow Universal Music’s presence in film, television and theater by creating rich new opportunities beyond recorded music for our artists, labels and our unparalleled roster of current and catalog recordings. This is yet another important step in the evolution of Universal Music into a music-based entertainment company.”
Blackman will be based at the company’s Santa Monica headquarters, and Landis will remain in New York. Blackman said, “Universal Music has already proven to be a fertile ground for film and television, and I’m looking forward to helping shepherd many, many more projects from the development stage to the screen. I can’t thank Jody and Michele enough for allowing me to take charge of this important priority for the company.”
Added Landis, “There’s a glorious treasure trove of possibilities in Universal Music Group’s amazing artist roster and song library, and I’m looking forward to helping unlock those gems and opening the door even wider to the theatrical community. I thank Jody and Michele for this incredible opportunity.”