EXCLUSIVE: Miramax has named Wolfgang Hammer to become Head of Film, and executive vice president. Hammer most recently had been founder/CEO of Super Deluxe, the Time-Warner funded studio that produced short form video and TV for the millennial audience.
Hammer will oversee the company’s feature film development and production efforts under its new joint venture with Paramount. Hammer will report to Miramax CEO Bill Block.
“I’m excited to be working for Bill Block whom I’ve known for many years and whose style his unparalleled in Hollywood. Together, we aim to create a home to bold filmmakers making outstanding commercial films that not only succeed at the box office, but also stand the test of time,” said Hammer.
Said Block: “Whether it be building a creative business from scratch at Super Deluxe or shepherding unique and bold filmmakers at CBS Films, Wolfgang has proven to be an innovator at the top of his field. He’s the perfect leader to take the Miramax film team into this next chapter.”
Miramax has also hired Munika Lay to become Vice President of Film. She was an exec at MGM, and now will report to Hammer and support efforts in development and production of film projects. Following the ViacomCBS deal, she will assist in the extension of Miramax’s premium content as well as they lean in on expanding a Miramax library that holds nearly 70 Academy Award-winning titles.
Said Hammer: “Munika’s stellar reputation as a tasteful and effective executive precedes her, “ says Hammer. “We’re delighted to welcome her to the Miramax family and excited to start building our new slate of stand-out films together.”
The film moves follow last week’s bolstering of Miramax’s TV department with the appointment of NBCUniversal International Studios’ Marc Helwig to the post of Miramax head of worldwide television.
Super Deluxe formed in 2015 to create a studio that could produce everything a millennial might want to consume. It sold eight TV shows in two years and between Facebook, YouTube and its own website and apps, it had an audience of 40 million unique users. The venture moved to AT&T after it acquired Time-Warner, and Hammer moved to become a producer of television productions, including a series adaptation of My Beautiful Launderette at HBO. Before Super Deluxe, Hammer was co-president of CBS Films when the company made and released the hits The Woman in Black and Last Vegas, as well as Inside Llewyn Davis, Seven Psychopaths, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Before that he was EVP of Film at Lionsgate and started his producing career at Media Rights Capital where he discovered and optioned the original UK Format of House of Cards, which was turned into the Netflix series.
At MGM, Lay worked on such films as Legally Blonde 3 and The Addams Family 2. Prior to MGM, Lay was director of strategy and business development at the independent production company, End Cue. Earlier in her career, she served to support the strategic planning and business development at Paramount Pictures following her time as a senior analyst at Warner Bros.
Miramax’s ambition is to become more aggressive in content generation. The company is coming off the Guy Ritchie-directed The Gentlemen, with the Ritchie-directed action thriller Cash Truck now in post production. Upcoming and recent projects include the global blockbuster Halloween Kills starring Jamie Lee Curtis, produced by Miramax with Trancas International Films and Blumhouse Productions, slated to release this year; The Georgetown Project starring Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe and directed by Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin; Uncle Frank, directed by Alan Ball and starring Paul Bettany which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was purchased by Amazon. Other projects include Silent Retreat, a comedy from Isn’t It Romantic director Todd Strauss-Schulson, and The Perfection, directed by Richard Shepard, starring Allison Williams and Logan Browning, which premiered at Fantastic Fest 2018 and was acquired by Netflix.