Lorenzo diBonaventura has stepped down from his corporate position as executive vicepresident, worldwide motion pictures, at Warner Bros to become an independentproducer for Warner Bros Pictures. He has been co-president or president ofproduction at the studio since 1996 and is one of the best-known productionexecutives in Hollywood.

"I lovefilmmaking, but the more corporate the job became the less creative it became,and the less creative it became the less joyful it became," said diBonaventura in a statement yesterday. "It was becoming patently clear toeveryone around me, especially my family, that the further I got away from thecreative process, the unhappier I was. I thank the Studio for understanding andallowing me to get back to stretching my creative muscles. Warner Bros Picturesis in great shape and couldn't be in better hands. This new deal is agreat win for me; I get to concentrate on doing what I love - making films -and I get to do it at the best studio in the world."

Warner, whichaccesses many of its films from on-the-lot third-party suppliers such asFranchise, Pandora, Castle Rock, Alcon and Section Eight, has a slew of sequelsor franchises coming up including The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (domestic rights only), the second ofseven Harry Potterfilms and a prequel to The Exorcist.

"Wefully respect and support Lorenzo's decision and look forward to his newrole as a producer for Warner Bros. Pictures," said Alan Horn, President& Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. "Lorenzo has helped shape what Warner Bros. Picturesis today and we are pleased to have him continue to contribute to oursuccess."

As a successoris lined up, all executives who directly reported to di Bonaventura will nowreport to Horn.

Di Bonaventurajoined Warner Bros Pictures in 1989 as a production executive and was promotedto vice president, production shortly thereafter. He was named senior vicepresident, production, in 1993 and executive vice president, production in1995. In 1996, he became the co-head of theatrical production, alongside BillGerber, and assumed his position as sole president of worldwide production inApril 1998.

In July thisyear, he was named to the corporate position of executive vice president,worldwide motion pictures, at Warner Bros, leaving Jeff Robinov as president,domestic production, and Steve Papazian as president, physical production, atthe studio.

Hits producedunder di Bonaventura's regime included The Matrix, Ocean'sEleven, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, Cats And Dogs, The PerfectStorm, Training Day, Miss Congeniality and Three Kings.