Mark Gill, the formerpresident of Miramax LA and currently a partner in Stratus Film Company, is infinal negotiations to leave Stratus and take the helm at Warner Bros'long-in-the-works specialized division.

Warner confirmed reports inthe Hollywood trade press yesterday that Gill is in talks for the job, but saidas yet that no final decisions have been reached as to how the division will beconfigured.

A spokesman for Stratuspartner and financier Bob Yari gave no comment. Gill and Yari were in meetingstogether yesterday and could not be reached.

Gill's background isas a marketing expert but he left Miramax to pursue a more active role inproduction, so he offers a varied skillset to the studio.

It is understood that he wasapproached for the job initially but couldn't leave his Stratus contract- a situation which is still unresolved, although now his discussions arepublic, it is unlikely he will stay on with Yari.

Since joining Stratus, whichis a three-way partnership with Yari and Mark Gordon, Gill has set up severalpictures including the currently shooting Laws Of Attraction with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore and thesoon-to-shoot The Remains Of The Piano written and directed by Eric Idle and starring Geoffrey Rush and DonRoos' Happy Endings withJennifer Garner and Lisa Kudrow.

In development are ThePainted Veil with Edward Norton andNaomi Watts attached and The Matador with Pierce Brosnan.

Warner has long beenplanning a specialized division but the plans hotted up recently with the collaborationof Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Warner-based production outfitSection Eight. Section Eight has several films in production such as Eros and Criminal which would be well-suited to a domestic specialized arm, while Warnerrecently picked up domestic rights to the low-budget drama A Home At The EndOf The World produced by KillerFilms and Hart Sharp Entertainment and executive produced by Warner-based JohnWells.

A so-called Warner Classicswould also be the perfect domestic distribution vehicle for some of theinternational films being financed by the studio, although Warner Brosexecutive vice president, international, Richard Fox said that the $50m AVery Long Engagement being producedin France under the direction of Jean-Pierre Jeunet would most likely bereleased domestically by the main studiodistribution apparatus.

As to what will happen atStratus, there is as yet no information. It is one of three companies whichYari has bankrolled - the others being Bull's Eye Entertainment runby Tom Nunan, Cathy Schulman and Mark Curcio and El Camino Pictures which isrun by WMA Independent's Cassian Elwes and Rena Ronson.