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Like the studio’s planned fashion competition show with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, this program also will have a merchandising component that will take advantage of Amazon’s foundation as an e-tail giant.
“She’s a force of nature: ambitious, smart and talented,” Salke said of Lively, adding that the Simple Favor star reminds her of another actress-turned-producer, Nicole Kidman, who inked a first-look film and TV deal with Amazon in June.
Salke said that her strategy is not so much a “big volume play” as it is simply developing relationships with talent she wants to work with, such as Jordan Peele. After calling up his CAA agent Joe Cohen to express her desire to work with him, the exec convinced the Oscar winner to move his overall TV deal from Sonar Entertainment in June. Also compelling, Salke added, is Amazon’s lush green Culver City campus — the historic mansion and bungalows of Culver Studios.
Asked by moderator Krista Smith, Vanity Fair‘s executive West Coast editor, about the challenges of stepping into a position vacated by an accused sexual harasser (Roy Price), Salke said that Amazon had already begun a cultural turnaround when she had her first exploratory meeting with senior vp Jeff Blackburn about the job. “There had been a lot of negativity and a little trauma around the company, understandably, and a lot of healing that had already started,” she said. “There were hot spots that needed extra TLC, but I didn’t feel like I had any kind of walls to bust through.”
Update, July 27, 2019: Amazon Studios noted that it has closed a first-look deal with Lively and, in addition to the fashion show, has another project based on IP that it is working on with Lively. Additional details were not immediately available.
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