Chip Flaherty, co-founder of Walden Media, has been hired as president of Londonderry Films and exec VP of Londonderry LLC, Variety has learned exclusively.
In his new role, Flaherty will oversee the Atlanta-based production and finance company’s original slate working on American storytelling of the past Hollywood era. He’ll work closely with Londonderry founder and CEO Patrick Millsaps, COO Don Grimsley and CPO John Dauer.
Flaherty had worked at Walden Media, which produced 30 films since its origin in 2000, grossing more than $3.5 billion in worldwide box office including “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “Charlotte’s Web” and the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” franchise. Flaherty also oversaw Walden’s entry into the book publishing industry, where he established a co-publishing venture with Penguin Young Readers Group and later founded the imprint Walden Pond as a joint venture with HarperCollins.
“Londonderry was founded to tell stories across all media platforms, both existing and emerging, in order to engage and entertain a huge cross section audience wherever they might be,” Millsaps said. “Chip is the perfect addition to the Londonderry team as he has proven time and time again that he’s got an eye for finding those stories which as films become evergreen properties with lasting appeal.”
Most recently, Flaherty executive produced “Mother’s Day,” starring Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston; “The Great Gilly Hopkins,” starring Octavia Spencer and Kathy Bates; the animated “The Little Prince”; and the upcoming “Fatima,” starring Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga.
“To be part of the team that founded Walden Media seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Flaherty said. “To get another such opportunity with Londonderry Films gives me a great feeling of déjà vu. I hope to establish the same culture that makes Walden so great to this day — an embrace of the viewpoints and life perspectives of all colleagues so we can produce films that are authentic and accessible to the widest possible audience.”
Millsaps launched Londonderry in 2016, choosing the name after Annie Londonderry, an entrepreneur who became the first woman to bicycle around the world in 1895.
Prior to Flaherty’s tenure at Walden Media, he served as an Assistant District Attorney and an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts.