By Anthony D'Alessandro
Editorial Director/Box Office Editor
A slight executive shift here at Amazon Studios as Movies Co-Head Matt Newman goes to Prime Video’s global Sports group to develop sports docuseries, movies and scripted fare. Julie Rapaport will remain Amazon’s Head of Movies.
Both sectors remain vibrant areas for Amazon; the former seeing the launch of Thursday Night Football in the autumn. Rapaport will continue to report into Amazon Studios’ Head Jen Salke, while Newman will now report to Marie Donoghue, VP of Global Sports Video.
Newman and Rapaport remained the co-Heads of Movies at the studio following Ted Hope’s departure in May 2020, he also being a Co-head. This new executive assignment now puts the movie division under Rapaport after several years of a co-Heads structure.
During Newman and Rapaport’s oversee of the feature division they saw a number of feature acquisitions from rival studios during the pandemic which turned into huge events for Prime Video, i.e. the pick-up of Paramount’s Coming 2 America which remains the streamer’s most watched title. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm notched two Oscar nominations for Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress Maria Bakalova. This Oscar season Amazon is celebrating three nominations forBeing the Ricardos: Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Actor (Javier Bardem), and Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons).
After playing Sundance and SXSW, the Regina Hall horror movie Master hits select theaters and the service this Friday.
Below is the email from Salke to staff:
Hi team – I wanted to share some very exciting news with you all.
Julie Rapaport and Matt Newman have been leading Movies together for the past several years, and they have accomplished so much as co-heads. With growth comes change and opportunity and Matt has decided to take on an exciting new role within the sports organization.
Prime Video’s global Sports group continues to grow and scale, with new programming and properties worldwide, including the historic launch this fall of Thursday Night Football. As our live sports portfolio grows, and we look to build on the success of projects like Rooney in the UK and our All or Nothing franchise, Matt will take on a new role developing original sports docuseries, films, and scripted projects, reporting to Marie Donoghue. Matt helped guide our movie strategy through multiple new milestones, including the release of tentpole movies on Prime Video like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Coming 2 America, Cinderella, and Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. I’m personally so grateful for Matt’s contributions, and can’t wait to see what lies ahead for him.
With Matt’s move, we will be applying a single threaded leadership approach to movies. With Julie’s top-notch leadership skills and her ability to nurture a diverse range of filmmakers – from up-and-comers to the well-established – this move will help us continue to build on our great momentum. The critical acclaim keeps rolling in this awards season, including three major noms for Being the Ricardos: Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. Upcoming releases including Master with Regina Hall, My Policeman starring Harry Styles, All the Old Knives starring Chris Pine, and Catherine, Called Birdy with Lena Dunham reinforce our mission to be the Home for Talent. I’m grateful for Julie’s vision and continued contributions to the Studio.
Please join me in congratulating Julie and Matt on their roles. These are exciting times for Studios, Sports, and all of Prime Video. I look forward to the next chapter – for Julie, for Matt, and for all of us.
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