Viacom has signed Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos to a new, multi-year contract, individuals familiar with the talks told Variety. The development comes as Viacom is expected to recombine with CBS in a deal believed to be announced after market close on Monday.
The media giant has also extended the contract of Paramount’s current production president Elizabeth Raposo, who largely deals with the studio’s film franchises. Executive leadership is currently addressing staff on Paramount’s Hollywood lot.
Gianopulos has been at the helm of the studio since 2017, when he replaced the late Brad Grey. While his deal renewal coincides with the looming mega-merger, one insider close to Viacom said the deal was simply approaching expiration and came up for renewal.
During his tenure, Gianopulos has moved to stabilize the legendary studio and increase production volume. Notable hits under his watch include John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place,” continued success of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise with Skydance, and the recent Elton John biopic “Rocket Man.”
Paramount is currently in sixth place in box office market share, with eyes toward a strong fourth quarter thanks to Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man,” starring an old and young version of Will Smith, and Tim Miller’s reboot of Terminator, subtitled “Dark Fate.”
While more Tom Cruise is on the horizon with “Mission,” Paramount will release the sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” next as well as synergistic titles like “The SpongeBob Movie,” based on the Nickelodeon series.