Columbia Pictures Beefs Up Production Team With Key Hires (Exclusive)

Kira Thompson, Jake Bauman and Bryan Smiley - Split - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

President Sanford Panitch has brought on a new vp production, vp literary development and director of development.

Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch on Tuesday announced key hires across the Sony-based studio, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Bryan Smiley joins Columbia as the new vp production after serving as the co-president of multicultural content banner No Label Productions. Smiley also comes from a digital background, having previously worked for 20th Century Fox's Fox Digital Entertainment.

Jake Bauman, who comes to Columbia from previous lit roles at New Line and Chernin, has been tapped as vp literary development. Based in New York, Bauman has a background in publishing, having worked at Penguin Group, and has helped to develop book-to-screen projects like Silver Linings Playbook.

Finally, Panitch announced Columbia's new director of development, Kira Thompson. Her recent credits include work on Deadpool and Logan, having previously worked at Simon Kinberg’s Fox-based Genre Films.

Columbia is gearing up for the holiday release of the Jumanji reimagining Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. The studio's upcoming slate includes the Sicario follow-up Soldado and the Denzel Washington-fronted Equalizer sequel.

Read Panitch's full memo to staff below.

Good morning,

It’s been a terrific and exciting year, and we’ve had several additions to our creative team who I’d like to formally introduce. Bryan Smiley will join us as Vice President of Production; and Jake Bauman and Kira Thompson have recently joined as Vice President of Literary Development and Director of Development, respectively.

Bryan most recently served as co-president of No Label Productions, an innovative content strategy business involving film, television, and digital content. Before founding No Label Productions, Bryan worked with Fox Digital Entertainment at 20th Century Fox. Bryan’s relationships with digital media content makers and influencers makes him a unique asset for us at Columbia.

Jake Bauman has joined Columbia Pictures as Vice President of Literary Development, based in New York, where he is scouting and sourcing literary IP for all of our motion picture group’s labels. Jake joined us most recently from New Line Cinema, and prior to that held senior roles at Chernin Entertainment and Penguin Group (USA). Jake was instrumental in the development of titles such as Silver Linings Playbook and The Alchemist.

Kira Thompson joins us from Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films, where she most recently served as a creative executive. She contributed to projects such as Deadpool, X-men: Apocalypse, Logan, The Martian, and Murder on the Orient Express. Prior to her time with Mr. Kinberg, Kira worked at Universal Pictures.

Finally, I’d like to extend a belated welcome to Brittany Morrissey who joined us as Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures earlier this year. She is already an integral member of our team.

Please join me in welcoming them.

Sanford Panitch