Warner Max, the feature arm of HBO Max, launched earlier this year and slated to be jointly operated by HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures, will be phased out in yet another round of internal consolidation and streamlining at the media giant.
The postponement comes after a high-level executive reorganization this week that saw Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich essentially claiming control – he now has sole control of all feature spending for WarnerMedia it streaming or theater. Kevin Reilly, HBO Max’s chief content officer, who was originally supposed to co-direct with Emmerich, left the company in August.
Going forward, all original feature film development and production for HBO Max under Emmerich and the Warner Bros. Pictures Group in collaboration with Casey Bloys will be consolidated to the overall platform goals.
Emmerich will be working with three key people – Courtenay Valenti from Warner Bros. Pictures, Richard Brener from New Line and Walter Hamada from DC Films. Everyone will continue to develop and produce titles for their label that will either be streamed by the film group in theaters or streamed directly on HBO Max.
HBO Max’s content director Sarah Aubrey remains in position, former Warner Max director Jessie Henderson is leaving, and Nikki Ramey, senior vice president of Warner Max, will join New Line to report to Brener .
WarnerMax hoped to produce eight to ten mid-budget films a year, but never got off to a quick enough start to achieve that goal. He only delivered the HBO Max original “Unpregnant”, acquired the Seth Rogen comedy “American Pickle” and is currently producing “No Sudden Move” for HBO max at Steven Soderbergh.
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