Amazon Studios on Wednesday announced that it has promoted Julie Rapaport to co-head of Movies, where she will lead a new division focused on films appealing to wider audiences.
Rapaport will work alongside fellow co-heads Ted Hope and Matt Newman, with all three reporting to Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios.
“Keeping in mind the diverse range of tastes of our Prime Video customers, we are focused on continually expanding our content offerings,” said Salke in a statement. “I want to stress that across series and movies, all divisions hold quality first and foremost as their bar. With Julie joining Ted and Matt, this clears the pathway to further expand our robust movies slate to include more widely engaging stories that audiences will connect with. Julie is a talented and highly respected creative executive and leader and we are thrilled to see her step into this expansive role.”
Salke is, however, still looking for an overall head of Amazon’s movie division to fill the hole left by Jason Ropell, who stepped down in July.
With Rapaport overseeing the new division, Hope will continue to oversee the prestige titles from emerging filmmakers and established masters. Rapaport’s division will oversee films with larger budgets and deliver high-quality content from singular voices that have defined the studio since its launch.
“I am extremely excited to take on this new role, working alongside Jennifer Salke, Ted Hope, Matt Newman and the entire Movies team as we continue to build Amazon Studios into the destination for high-quality content from first-class talent,” Rapaport said in a statement. “Every filmmaker and film lover starts as a filmgoer, and Amazon Studios lives in that rich history. My passion is to tell stories and make films that enchant, engage and entertain audiences, and I love doing that here at Amazon. We have amazing projects in the pipeline with even more yet to come.”
In her previous post as senior manager for development, production and acquisitions, Rapaport played an integral role in building the Movies team at Amazon Studios. She co-managed the team under Hope and was responsible for overseeing the upcoming film “Beautiful Boy,” starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, as well as Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” and Mike White’s “Brad’s Status.”
Before coming to Amazon, Rapaport had a long and successful tenure at The Weinstein Company where she shepherded award-winning films such as “Lion,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Big Eyes” and “August: Osage County.”
Amazon’s new division will include projects such as “Lucy and Desi,” a film written by Aaron Sorkin about TV’s pioneering comedienne Lucille Ball, and “Union,” about the head of the post-Civil War infantry tasked with fighting the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. The screenplay for that film was penned by Tony award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to produce.
“Having worked with Julie for many years, I know she is a superstar. I am very happy and am confident she will shine in her new role,” Hope said in a statement. “Our carefully curated slate of auteur-driven projects is something that has always made each day a joy and truly exciting, our teams and I are thrilled to bring them to the big screen.”
This fall, Amazon has upcoming theatrical releases that include Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria,” starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, and Pawel Palikowski’s “Cold War,” which was recently selected as Poland’s official entry for Best Foreign Film.