Former HBO Exec Maria Zuckerman Lands at Topic Studios

Maria Zuckerman - Getty - H 2019
Nicholas Hunt/WireImage

The former senior vp HBO Films joins First Look Media's rebranded studio.

Topic Studios has hired former HBO Films exec Maria Zuckerman as executive vp of the entertainment studio behind The Climb, set to bow at Cannes.

Zuckerman, a 20-year veteran at HBO, most recently served as senior vp HBO Films, where she oversaw the development and production of original movies for the cable network. In her new role, Zuckerman will lead Topic Studios’ overall strategy, including development, financing and production across feature films, documentaries, TV, podcasts and digital programming.

“Maria is a super smart, creative executive who filmmakers and talent love to work with,” Michael Bloom, CEO of First Look Media and Topic, said in a statement. Topic is behind the feature-length adaptation of Kyle Marvin and Michael Covino's comedic short The Climb.

The Topic slate includes Anthem: Homunculus, a musical podcast from John Cameron Mitchell, and the Netflix sports documentary Losers, from Mickey Duzyj. “In three years, Topic has firmly established itself as a unique studio, driven by a passionate spirit and innovative approach to storytelling,” said Zuckerman in her own statement.

First Look Media, which co-financed and produced the Oscar-winner Spotlight, rebranded the studio as Topic in 2017. The studio's film slate includes Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace; the political documentary Dark Money from Kimberly Reed; and Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers drama The Laundromat, starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.

Topic also acquired Julius Onah’s thriller Luce, in partnership with Neon, at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.