Formed at the behest of WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey and Warner Bros. Entertainment president Ann Sarnoff, the division will deliver on the promise of synergy by leveraging the company’s brand and talent portfolios, including DC Films, HBO original content, New Line Cinema, and Warner Animation Group. HBO Max will launch in May. The first Warner Max title will premiere in 2020.
The studio says that the straight-to-service production will not affect the quantity of movies that Warner Bros. and New Line put in theaters.
Warner Max will be overseen by HBO Max’s chief content officer Kevin Reilly and Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich, who will share greenlight responsibilities. They will work in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures COO Carolyn Blackwood and HBO Max executive Sarah Aubrey. Jessie Henderson, executive VP of original feature films for HBO Max, will expand her role to serve as day-to-day head of the label and liasion between HBO Max and Warner Bros. She will report to Aubrey and Blackwood.
“From the get-go we have been strategizing with Toby and Carolyn about HBO Max original films,” Reilly said in a statement. “We are going to deliver a collaborative and lean process for talent, make a range of quality films, and provide a platform for each of them to have cultural impact. Now, HBO Max will be home to a robust collection of the legendary Warner Bros. film library and a new slate of original WarnerMax films.”
Emmerich added, “Working with Kevin, Sarah, Jessie and their teams, we’re committed to creating dynamic and compelling films that draw on the depth and scope of the creative resources across WarnerMedia. We’re excited to help make HBO Max a destination for both film-lovers and the creative community, while delivering a win across the entire WarnerMedia organization.”