EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Hart is expanding his Hartbeat Productions banner by tapping Bryan Smiley to be its President of Film and Television. Smiley is currently a vice president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and he will make the move when his contract expires at the end of the year.
SPE has many percolating productions with Hart, including Jumanji: The Next Level and Fatherhood, with several more in development. The hiring of Smiley extends SPE’s bind to Hart.
Set for April 3, 2020 release, Fatherhood is a comedy-drama based on true story and book about Matt Logelin, a father forced to raise a child on his own who finds himself wholly unprepared for the challenge. Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, Anthony Carrigan (Barry), DeWanda Wise, Melody Hurd, Paul Reiser, and Deborah Ayorinde also star and Paul Weitz is directing a script by Dana Stevens and Weitz, based on Logelin’s book Two Kisses for Maddy. Producers are Marty Bowen, David Beaubaire, Peter Kiernan and Hart through HartBeat.
Before joining Columbia Pictures, up and comer Smiley co-founded No Label Productions, a multicultural film & television company, and consulted for several top media companies including Fox Digital Entertainment and Fox Digital Studios.
Said SPE’s Sanford Panitch: “We’re excited to be continuing to work with Bryan at Hartbeat – I feel like Kevin is part of the Sony family. Bryan is one of the brightest young talents in the business and we fully support him in pursuing this terrific opportunity with Kevin.”
Said Hart: “Bryan comes to us with unique vision and creative outlook. We share a passion for quality projects with compelling story lines. Together we plan to expand the Hartbeat footprint and grow Hartbeat into a Global Entertainment company.”