EXCLUSIVE: Universal continues to pare back international production division as evp leaves company

Clare Wise has departed from her role as evp, International Production, Universal Pictures International, after more than three and a half years in the role.

No replacement has been announced and there are no plans to replace Wise in the near future with Universal refocusing their international division to give more production and acquisition clout to local territory managers.

The move follows the departure of UPIP Christian Grass, former president of UPI productions and acquisitions, in July and is further evidence of studios rethinking their international production divisions after Paramount shut down their worldwide acquisitions and local production group in June and more recently announced the relocation and massive reduction of their international distribution team.

Notable successes during Wise’s tenure include Heartbreaker and Gainsbourg, both among the highest-grossing French films of 2010, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick Ass, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Timur Bekmambetov’s Black Lightning. UPI and Wise also co-produced Thirst by Park Chan-Wook and Sundance winner Sin Nombre.

In September Universal appointed Peter Kujawski to evp worldwide acquisitions with part of his remit to work closely with Universal Pictures’ President, International David Kosse across Universal’s international divisions, including international acquisitions.

Wise joined Universal in February 2008, prior to when she was head of international at the UK Film Council.