Ted Hope, co-head of movies at Amazon Studios, is reportedly transitioning back into content production after five years with the e-commerce giant. Hope, who began as head of Amazon Original Movies, leaves his position June 2 and will begin a first-look production deal with Amazon Studios, studio boss Jennifer Salke disclosed in a memo to staff.
“Ted approached me earlier this year and expressed his feelings about taking on a new challenge,” Salke wrote. “Over the course of several months and many conversations I came to realize Ted is a producer through and through and that now is the right time for both him and the studio to make a change.”
During his tenure, Hope was responsible for spearheading Amazon’s forays into feature films, including The Big Sick and Oscar winner Manchester By the Sea, among others. He was instrumental in Amazon greenlighting Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, and Cafe Society and Wonder Wheel from Woody Allen.
More recent theatrical forays included Late Night, Brittany Runs a Marathon, Honey Boy, The Aeronauts and Troop Zero.
Amazon Studios’ other co-heads, Julia Rapaport and Matt Newman, will assume control of movie production, with senior executive Scott Foundas and Christian Davin, head of marketing, continuing in their positions — and all reporting to Salke.
Amazon Studios has upped Julie Rapaport to co-head the studio’s movie production team, joining Ted Hope and Matt Newman and reporting to studio boss Jennifer Salke.
Rapaport replaces Jason Ropell, who exited Amazon Studios two months ago. Former senior manager, development, production and acquisitions at the studio, Rapaport reportedly been tasked with developing bigger budget movies that appeal to wider audiences.
The studio, which won a best actor (Casey Affleck) Oscar for Manchester by the Seain 2017, is attempting to expand beyond indie fare, including upcoming releases, Beautiful Boy with Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying and Mike White’s Brad’s Status, among others.
Movies in the pipeline include a feature about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and a Civil War-themed title starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, among others.
“Keeping in mind the diverse range of tastes of our Prime Video customers, we are focused on continually expanding our content offerings,” Salke said in a statement. “I want to stress that across series and movies, all divisions hold quality first and foremost as their bar. With Julie joining Ted and Matt, this clears the pathway to further expand our robust movies slate to include more widely engaging stories that audiences will connect with.”