Emma Watts has resigned her post as Paramount’s motion picture group president, sources tell Variety.
Watts exits just over a year in the job, on the heels of her former Fox boss Jim Gianopulos — whose jaw-dropping ouster as Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO shook up Hollywood in early September.
A representative for Paramount owner ViacomCBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Watts’ exit, predicted by industry insiders in the days following the Gianopulos news, comes as many in the industry and on Wall Street speculate that Viacom is no longer interested in grand theatrical fare and is prioritizing volume for its streaming service Paramount Plus.
Studio insiders insisted that Paramount is committed to releasing its current slate — which includes “Top Gun: Maverick” and the upcoming “Mission: Impossible” sequels — in theaters.
Upon her arrival, trade headlines celebrated the veteran production executive as “Paramount’s white knight,” a figure with business acumen and deep talent relationships who knew how to make theatrical movies. One that could restore this historic studio to its former glory, having worked on top franchises like “X-Men,” “Avatar” and the “Deadpool” series from her longtime seat at the former 20th Century Fox.
The news was first reported by THR. More to come …
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