Bad Robot has hired TriStar Pictures and TriStar Television president Hannah Minghella as Head of Motion Pictures. In the new role she will steer the film division of JJ Abrams’ company, and she will work in partnership with chairman and CEO Abrams and co-CEO Katie McGrath, to whom she will report.
The move, which just broke, comes just more than a month after Bad Robot closed a five-year mega-deal to keep its TV business and move its film business under the WarnerMedia umbrella. The wide-ranging pact, which runs through 2024, includes games and digital content. On the movie side, it also means the company will be developing original theatrical films for the divisions of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group including Warner Bros and New Line Cinema. Those relationships will now be a key focus for Minghella.
“It is, essentially, a dream come true to welcome Hannah to Bad Robot,” Abrams said in a release Thursday. “Her wealth of experience, exceptional reputation, abundant talent relationships, great taste and sharp wit make her the rarest combination. Katie, [president and COO] Brian [Weinstein] and I have admired her work from afar for years, and we consider ourselves and the rest of our team exceedingly lucky to collaborate with Hannah in building a slate of diverse, dynamic and thrilling films. We can’t wait to get started.”
Sony says Nicole Brown, recently promoted to EVP at TriStar, will assume responsibility for supervising TriStar’s film development and production activities. That includes currently prepping for the November 22 release of It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the Marielle Heller which stars Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers. Minghella also shepherded 2017’s Baby Driver, which scooped up three Oscar nominations.
Minghella joined Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2005 from Miramax as a director of creative affairs under then-SPE co-chair Amy Pascal. She was appointed president of production at Sony Pictures Animation in 2008, overseeing the launch of franchises Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania and The Smurfs.
She then served as president of production for Columbia Pictures, spearheading development and production on films including Sausage Party, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, the Jump Street movies, The Amazing Spider-Man movies and Skyfall. She was named president of TriStar Pictures in 2015, and added TriStar TV to her remit in January after the sudden death of Suzanne Patmore Gibbs.
“I will forever be grateful for my 14 years at Sony, for the movies I have had the privilege to work on and for the amazing people I have had the pleasure to work with, especially Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra who have been incredible mentors and advocates over the last few years and, of course, Amy Pascal who originally brought me to the studio,” said Minghella, also the daughter of Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella. “This move presents the opportunity for me to collaborate more closely with a singular creative talent at a truly unique and dynamic company. It is a thrilling time to be joining forces with JJ, Katie, Brian, and the whole Bad Robot team. I have long admired their creativity, integrity, and passion, and I am so excited to begin this next chapter.”
Bad Robot’s movie-side credits including producing the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises and of course Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, both of those films directed by Abrams.