Former 20th Century Fox film executive Emma Watts has been appointed President of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group and will replace Wyck Godfrey in the role, the studio announced on Tuesday.
Beginning July 20, Watts will report to Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, with whom she worked when he served as chairman and CEO of Fox.
Godfrey, a veteran producer whose credits included “I, Robot” and the “Twilight” franchise, had been overseeing Paramount’s film division since January 2018. He will step down to return to producing movies and TV shows.
In Watts’ new role, she will oversee the studio’s film operations from development all the way up to release, including Paramount Pictures and the indie division Paramount Players, and supervise casting, physical production, postproduction and music. Elizabeth Raposo will continue to serve in her current role as president of production and will report to Watts.
“Emma is one of the most exceptional executives in the film industry,” Gianopulos said in a statement. “I worked with her for almost two decades during her career at Fox and have watched her become the stellar leader and creative talent she is today. As Paramount continues its evolution and growth, I am thrilled that she will deftly guide the film studio with her impeccable taste, talent relationships and innovative vision.”
Watts added: “At such a rapidly evolving time in our business, Paramount’s rich history and commitment to unique and diverse storytelling make it essential in this new era of filmmaking. I look forward to working alongside Jim and the rest of the talented Paramount team to continue creating an environment that not only provides stability and confidence within the industry, but also empowers the creative community to do their very best work.”
Watts has over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is best known for her tenure at 20th Century Fox, where her hits included “Night at the Museum,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Martian,” “Deadpool,” “Logan,” “Avatar” and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film “West Side Story.”
She joined Fox in 1998 as a creative executive and in 2007 was promoted to president of production and later to vice chairman in 2017. In 2018, following the Disney-Fox merger, she transitioned to the newly rebranded 20th Century Studios and oversaw productions like “Ford v Ferrari” and the upcoming “Free Guy” starring Ryan Reynolds.
“It’s been one of the great joys of my life to guide Paramount Pictures over the last few years,” Godfrey said about his departure. “And while I am sad to leave and will miss the day to day with the people I’ve grown to love, I can’t wait to see the future of the studio under Jim G and Emma, both of whom are rock stars in their respective jobs. And, rest assured, I have no doubt I’ll be pestering them for years to come to make my movies as a producer.”
During his time at Paramount, Godfrey was responsible for hits like Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” “Bumblebee,” “Rocketman,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and more. He also oversaw development on “A Quiet Place II,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Coming 2 America,” “Snake Eyes” and “Infinite,” among more. Before joining Paramount, he produced under his own production company Temple Hill Entertainment, where his credits included the “Twilight” series and “First Man.”