Working Title's Debra Hayward Exits to Launch Production Banner

The veteran production chief's Monumental Pictures sets first-look deal with her former employer.

LONDON – Working Title Films president of U.K. production Debra Hayward is leaving to launch her own production banner.

Hayward, one of the best-known movie industry personalities in Britain, launches Monumental Pictures with a first-look deal from Working Title for her new venture, beginning September.

On exiting Working Title, Hayward will immediately transition to act as producer on a number of upcoming films from the Universal-owned U.K. production banner.

Hayward joined Working Title Films in 1989 as a producer’s assistant before moving on to the development department. She eventually graduated to President of U.K. Production.

So far in 2011, Hayward has served as exec producer on a slew of WT productions including Ol Parker’s Johnny English Reborn, starring Rowan Atkinson as the bungling spy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the adaptation of John le Carré’s espionage thriller, directed by Tomas Alfredson with Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch and also Senna, the documentary about the life of Brazilian Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna.


Other productions on her watch include Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang, Green Zone, Atonement, State of Play, Frost/Nixon, The Boat That Rocked, United 93, Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and the first Nanny McPhee.

Amongst her other credits, she also served as co-producer on Mr Bean’s Holiday, The Interpreter, Love Actually, Johnny English, About a Boy, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Elizabeth.

Hayward said in working with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, she had “learnt from two of the best producers in the business.”

She said she has thought “long and hard” about her decision to strike out on her own, but she feels “the time is right to try something new and to focus on producing my own films and TV projects.”

The first-look deal “enables me to maintain my family ties with Working Title and Universal as well as forging new and exciting relationships,” said Hayward.

Bevan said: “Debra has been an integral part of the company for many years and we are pleased that she will still be working closely with us.”

Fellner added: “Obviously we are sad to see Deb leave after working so closely with her for so many years but we are thrilled that we will be able to continue our relationship as producing partners.”

Hayward’s deal was negotiated by Libby Savill at Olswang.