UPDATED: Wyck Godfrey, the powerhouse producer behind “Twilight” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” is taking over as president of Paramount’s motion picture group. He will begin his new position in January 2018.
The studio confirmed the news on Saturday. Godfrey’s hire comes after Marc Evans announced that he is stepping down as the motion picture group chief at the end of the year. Godfrey has a long-standing relationship with Jim Gianopulos, Paramount’s newly appointed studio chairman, to whom he will report. When Gianopulos ran Fox’s film division Godfrey produced several hits for the studio, including “The Maze Runner,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” and “The Longest Ride.” He his known for having a keen sense of what will appeal to tween audiences, an important demographic for a business struggling to appeal to younger consumers.
“I worked with Wyck for many years and have been in awe of his incredible success as a producer,” Gianopulos said in a statement. “He is a proven filmmaker with rare instincts for developing great material, producing commercial projects, and maintaining excellent talent relationships. By combining his experience and expertise with our talented production team, we feel we have the perfect mix for an exciting and rewarding future at Paramount Pictures.”
Godfrey is a partner in the production company Temple Hill Entertainment with Marty Bowen. His other credits include “I, Robot,” “Daddy Day Care,” and the television series “Mr. Mercedes.”
Godfrey faces a challenging landscape at Paramount. The studio has been languishing behind its competitors and has suffered a string of flops and financial disappointments that include “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “Baywatch,” and “The Ghost in the Shell.” Its upcoming releases include Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” and George Clooney’s “Suburbicon.”
In his new role, Godfrey will be responsible for the studio’s film operations from development to release. He will manage the creative development Group, as well as overseeing casting, physical production, post-production, and music.
“I have loved every minute of the 20 years I’ve been blessed to produce movies, in particular the time spent building Temple Hill with my best friend and partner Marty,” said Godfrey in a statement. “The opportunity to work with Jim and his entire team at Paramount, though, is one that I can’t believe has come my way. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to building a slate for years to come that can stand proudly beside the sterling Paramount Pictures which helped inspire me to make movies in the first place.”
Evans will segue into a production role at the studio.
Godfrey began his career as a creative executive at New Line Cinema, working on “The Mask,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and the Nightmare on Elm Street series. He later joined Horizon Pictures as senior vice president of production, overseeing their slate of projects for 20th-Century Fox. He next joined John Davis Entertainment as executive vice president, before forming Temple Hill in 2006.