The Weinstein Company’s Julie Rapaport is leaving for Amazon Studios, where she will serve as a development executive as production head Ted Hope and his boss Roy Price’s original feature film slate rapidly expands.
Rapaport began seven years ago at TWC as assistant to Weinstein COO and dealmaker David Glasser, who will be exiting the company this Fall. Rapaport’s projects include October-dated “Burnt,” whose awards chances look slim, as well as “Big Eyes,” “August: Osage County” and “The Giver.”
This is the latest shakeup at the cash-strapped Weinstein Company, which recently shifted “Macbeth” from its main slate to the autonomous Radius for a late 2015 theatrical release, to be followed by VOD play on Amazon in early 2016.
The hire comes as Amazon readies for the hot Toronto acquisitions market, where Rapaport will trawl next month alongside Amazon’s other new hire, acquisitions and development executive Scott Foundas.
Foundas’ hire told us several things: they’re heading toward upscale, smart movies and trawling for emerging talent. Foundas has deep relationships with filmmakers and film festival programmers all over the world. Clearly, Amazon wants to forge a recognizable brand identity like Fox Searchlight or Sony Pictures Classics. When we see the films they produce and acquire, we will know what that brand is. So far they’re going forward on a still-under-wraps Jim Jarmusch project, Spike Lee’s next film “Chi-Raq,” Terry Gilliam’s long-gestating “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” and have partnered with Bleecker Street to acquire “Elvis & Nixon.”