Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment has promoted Justin Wilkes, who heads the company’s documentary division, to be its chief creative officer.
Currently the head of Imagine Documentaries, Wilkes will now take on an expanded role and work closely with the heads of the film, TV, docs, branded entertainment, kids & family and international divisions, as well as Jax Media and Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, in creating opportunities across the company. Wilkes will help the company focus towards a cohesive creative vision that will link to and guide Imagine’s strategic and business goals.
“We are thrilled to have Justin expand his role at Imagine. Over the years, he has shown he is creatively ambitious, has a keen eye for talent and story and has the ability to masterfully execute his productions. He is a powerful producer and collaborator, and incredibly talent-friendly, engaging with storytellers in a way that allows them to actualize their vision and maximize their abilities. We are excited for him to work across all of our divisions to further the creative ambitions of the company,” Grazer and Howard said in a joint statement.
“Ron and Brian have built one of the most admired, truly creatively-led companies in the business and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our partnership in documentaries over the years,” Wilkes said in a statement. “There’s so much creative IP being generated within the building, led by our talented division heads, and I genuinely look forward to unlocking even more potential across our entire slate and creative output.”
Wilkes joined Imagine in 2018 as president of Imagine Documentaries alongside executive vice president Sara Bernstein, overseeing such films as “Rebuilding Paradise,” “On Pointe” and “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.” The division’s upcoming projects include Martin Scorsese’s New York Dolls documentary on Showtime, as well as other new documentary films from Antoine Fuqua, Rory Kennedy, Julie Cohen and Betsy West, Amy Poehler, Barbara Kopple and another from Ron Howard.
Wilkes also heads up Imagine’s branded storytelling initiatives and produced the mockumentary short “John Bronco.” Imagine is currently in production on a film titled “MARS 2080” and has created strategic partnerships with Walmart, P&G and Nike.
Prior to joining Imagine, Wilkes and Imagine together produced Jay-Z’s “Made in America” alongside Grazer and Howard and the hit National Geographic series “Mars,” which Wilkes co-created and executive produced.
Variety first reported the news.