Paramount Pictures named former New Line Cinema executive Daria Cercek and former 20th Century Studios executive Michael Ireland as co-presidents of production at the studio Thursday.
Both Cercek and Ireland will report to Paramount motion picture group president Emma Watts. Ireland joined the studio in late November, and Cercek begins her position effective Jan. 11.
“I’m thrilled to be working again with both Daria and Mike,” Watts said in a statement. “The key to success is having the right team, and having watched Daria and Mike grow over the years, I am quite confident their combined creativity, enthusiasm and extensive talent relationships will be a huge windfall for Paramount. They believe passionately in people and projects, which makes for better films.”
Cercek joins Paramount from New Line Cinema, where she served as executive vice president of production and development. In her role, she most recently oversaw Olivia Wilde’s upcoming next film “Don’t Worry Darling” starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Chris Pine.
“I am absolutely over the moon to be joining the incredible team at Paramount, and working again with some of my most esteemed and beloved friends and colleagues,” Cercek said in a statement. “It is truly an honor to step into this role alongside Mike at such a historic studio, and to continue the legacy of making top-notch movies with world-class talent.”
Cercek was formerly senior vice president of production and development at Twentieth Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios), having risen through the ranks after starting as a creative executive in 2010. During her eight years there, she oversaw such films as “The Heat,” “The Other Woman” and “Spy,” as well as the last three films in the X-Men franchise. She was previously an executive for Scott Stuber when he had his production company at Universal, and prior to that worked for Paula Wagner during her time as CEO of United Artists. Cercek began her career as a literary assistant at William Morris in New York before shifting to the motion-picture-lit department at CAA.
Ireland, who graduated with a degree in screenwriting from USC, began his career as a network executive at MTV in 2003. He joined Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, in 2007, where he helped develop projects including “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
He left Appian Way to join Twentieth Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) in 2012, where he was most recently senior vice president of production and oversaw a slate of films including the upcoming Ryan Reynolds action-comedy “Free Guy.”
“I wanted to avoid saying I’m thrilled and excited because that’s what everyone says,” Ireland said in a statement. “But I truly am thrilled and excited to be reunited with Emma, Jim [Gianopulos, chairman and CEO] and Daria at Paramount. Like the studio itself, they have a history of embracing big ideas and taking risks on new talent. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I feel like I’m home.”