Warner Bros. & HBO Max unveil feature production arm Warner Max
Fans have been very curious about the future of Warner Bros’ upcoming streaming service HBO Max and now there’s a new reason for discussion as the two have revealed the opening of a new feature production arm entitled Warner Max.
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The venture, which is being overseen by HBO Max’s Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly and Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group Toby Emmerich, will help ensure the new streaming service will have a steady stream of high-quality and curated original films, with a target of 8-10 mid-budget films per year. Reilly and Emmerich will share greenlight responsibility Warner Bros. Pictures Group COO Carolyn Blackwood and HBO Max Head of Original Content Sarah Aubrey.
Executive Vice President of Original Feature Films for HBO Max Jessie Henderson is expanding her roles as well to serve as the day-to-day head of the label and the main point of communication between the platform and Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
“From the get-go we have been strategizing with Toby and Carolyn about HBO Max original films,” Reilly said. “We are going to deliver a collaborative and lean process for talent, make a range of quality films, and provide a platform for each of them to have cultural impact. Now, HBO Max will be home to a robust collection of the legendary Warner Bros. film library and a new slate of original WarnerMax films.”
The new partnership will also help expand upon WarnerMedia organization’s vast library and resources, which will include physical production, and will work with WB and New Line Cinema to create a pipeline for mid-budget fare and for filmmakers looking to connect with specific audiences or to make very genre-driven films. The first round of some of these titles is set to premiere later this year on the service, while WB is responsible for distribution of these titles in territories that won’t have the platform.
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“Working with Kevin, Sarah, Jessie and their teams, we’re committed to creating dynamic and compelling films that draw on the depth and scope of the creative resources across WarnerMedia,” Emmerich said. “We’re excited to help make HBO Max a destination for both film-lovers and the creative community, while delivering a win across the entire WarnerMedia organization.”
“Warner Bros. Pictures Group has long been the gold standard for filmmaker driven storytelling. We are proud to be in in the features business with them and continue that legacy on our SVOD platform,” Aubrey said. “Warner Max gives us a special opportunity to continue cultivating this style of rich and diverse storytelling and it couldn’t be in better hands than with our head of features, Jessie Henderson, who’s built her career in this space.”
The platform is already set to feature the entire library of Studio Ghibli movies, as well as acquiring the rights to South Park, Rick and Morty, Friends, Doom Patrol, Adventure Time, The Boondocks, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and Sesame Street.