Le Vision Pictures, the third largest Chinese production company, has hired former Paramount Pictures president Adam Goodman to run its Los Angeles office and oversee a slate of English-language films, TheWrap has learned.
Bringing on a veteran Hollywood executive like Goodman is an ambitious move that fits with Le Vision’s goal to produce Chinese-made, English-language films for the international movie audience, as CEO Zhang Zhao acknowledged in a May interview. The company’s first major bet is Zhang Yimou’s upcoming historical drama “The Great Wall” starring Matt Damon.
Le Vision, China’s third-largest film studio by revenue, is a subsidiary of LeEco, which is involved in everything from TVs to smartphones to online video. LeEco bought American TV manufacturer Vizio for $2 billion last month.
Goodman left Paramount in February 2015 after a seven-year run at the studio, where he helped bring along blockbuster franchises “Transformers” and “Paranormal Activity,” and shape a strategy of making the most of a limited number of bankable releases.
Goodman’s Paramount tenure also included several films nominated for Best Picture Oscars, including “Selma,” Martin Scorsese‘s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the Coen brothers’ “True Grit” and Alexander Payne‘s “Nebraska.” Goodman was instrumental in the studio’s launch of its low-budget unit Insurge Pictures, which delivered the $100 million-grossing “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”
Earlier this year, Le Vision had been in talks with Goodman to provide financing for his new film production venture, Dichotomy, but a source told TheWrap Le Vision was so impressed by Goodman the discussion pivoted into him running their L.A. operation.
Representatives for Le Vision and Goodman declined to comment.
Le Vision’s desire to make a splash in Hollywood has been known for some time. A source involved with Chinese studios told TheWrap in February that Le Vision was close to making a “high-profile hire” in Los Angeles, but that could not be confirmed at the time.
Just last week, Sky Moore, a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan who’s been involved in several U.S.-China film production pacts told TheWrap that “sticker shock” — Chinese film execs’ unwillingness to pay Hollywood rates — remains a big issue.
But Goodman’s hire could open the floodgates to more high-priced Hollywood hires by Chinese studios.
More challenging may be creating a slate that appeals to both American and Chinese audiences.
The Damon-heavy trailer for “The Great Wall” had an inauspicious debut last month, as “Fresh off the Boat” star Constance Wu slammed it for “whitewashing.”