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Paramount executives Daria Cercek and Mike Ireland will become the new co-heads of the studio in the wake of the exit of motion group president Emma Watts, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Cercek and Ireland have been co-presidents of film since January 2021 and both reported to Watts. The two have been overseeing upcoming installments of the latest Transformers film, Sandra Bullock’s The Lost City, Damien Chazelle’s period drama Babylon, and a sequel to the hit hybrid animation film Sonic the Hedgehog, among other titles.
Their official roles will be that of co-heads of the motion picture group, reporting directly to Brian Robbins, the new president and CEO of Paramount Pictures. The new job begins immediately. Elsewhere, Jeremy Kramer, who is president of Paramount Players, will now report directly to Robbins.
Cercek joined the studio in January having spent just over two years at New Line, acting as executive vp production. She was instrumental bringing in Don’t Worry Darling, the period thriller from Olivia Wilde, to the company. Prior to that, Cercek spent eight years at Fox, reaching the position of senior vp production. She oversaw the studio’s last three X-Men movies and was known for championing comedies such as The Heat, which was the first script she bought, and The Other Woman. She was also the studio’s point person on Paul Feig projects.
Ireland started his entertainment career as an exec at MTV and joined Fox in 2012, where he worked his way to up senior vp, production. He oversaw the making of Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds’ movie that was one of the box office hits of this past summer.
“Daria and Michael each have built tremendous track records in their careers, and their collective experience has already brought so much benefit to Paramount since joining the organization,” said Robbins. “Paramount also benefited greatly from the deep talents of Emma Watts who, among so many accomplishments, helped build a terrific team at the studio, facilitated overall deals with top-tier talent including John Krasinski and Ryan Reynolds, and shepherded a number of exciting upcoming projects including the latest film in the Star Trek franchise, the newest Transformers film, and a star-studded Dungeons & Dragons adaptation. We wish her nothing but success in her future.”
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