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Walter Hamada has found a new studio home, one that will have him move away from superheroes and return to his horror roots.
The former DC Films president has inked an exclusive producing pact with Paramount, the studio announced Tuesday. The move comes just weeks after he departed his post at Warner Bros., where he oversaw DC for four years. Prior to that, he worked on New Line horror properties such as The Conjuring.
The new deal, which is effective Jan. 1, 2023, has Hamada overseeing the studio’s horror line. It recently found success with Smile, which earned a massive $209 million globally on a $17 million budget. Hamada’s mandate will be to release several mid-budget horror films for theaters and streaming a year.
“With his track record for groundbreaking success, Walter is the ideal partner and visionary to build out our mainstream horror genre franchise business,” said Paramount Pictures President and CEO Brian Robbins. “As evidenced by the fantastic performance of Smile, there is a tremendous appetite for original, high-concept storytelling in the global marketplace, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
“I am thrilled to collaborate with Paramount Pictures with the singular goal of creating exceptional movies in the horror genre,” said Hamada. “Over the course of my career, nothing has been more gratifying than discovering emerging, first-time filmmakers and writers and unleashing their brilliance in a studio setting. Thank you to Brian and the entire team at Paramount Pictures for this tremendous opportunity, I can’t wait to get started.”
Hamada joined DC in 2018, a tumultuous time for the brand as it sought a path forward in the wake of Justice League and the departure of filmmaker Zack Snyder, the architect of the DCEU. During his tenure, Hamada presided over films such as the Oscar-winning, $1 billion grosser Joker (2019), The Suicide Squad (2021) and The Batman (2022). Those three films illustrated Hamada’s strategy of bucking rival Marvel Studios’ trend of a shared universe, as all three took place in separate continuities.
The executive’s Warners exit came in the wake of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s overhaul of Warner Bros and his vow to reshape DC with a ten-year plan as it seeks to compete with rival Marvel Studios. Zaslav recently named James Gunn and Peter Safran as the new heads of DC. Hamada worked with both on DC properties, and brought in Gunn to direct The Suicide Squad after he was temporarily fired as director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Hamada arrived at DC Films from Warners’ New Line, where he rose through the ranks thanks to the Conjuring and It franchises.
Paramount is home to noted horror titles such as A Quiet Place and Scream.
A previous version incorrectly stated The Blair Witch Project is a Paramount title. Its home is at Lionsgate.
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