Columbia Pictures co-head Matt Tolmach has launched a new production company and will move into a producer role on the Spider-Man reboot.
Doug Belgrad has been promoted to sole president of Columbia Pictures and will take on additional divisional responsibilities.
As part of the transition, Belgrad has named Hannah Minghella president of production at Columbia. Minghella has served as president of production for Sony Pictures Animation since 2008.
From now through November, Tolmach will begin the transition to become what a press release from Columbia called “a significant” producer on the lot as he builds his company, which has a three-year commitment to the studio. In December he will join producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad on the set of Spider-Man.
“Matt and I have worked together for over 15 years,” Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) co-chairman Amy Pascal said. “Anyone who knows him knows he has been talking about this for a long time. He has always approached every project he has ever worked on with the attentiveness of a brilliant producer’s eye and that is what has made him such an excellent executive.”
Pascal added this was the “right time” for Belgrad to assume sole control. “We have worked together since he was a financial analyst for Jon Dolgen, and I have seen him evolve into a consummate studio executive with a rare combination of creative talent and savvy business skill.”
She continued: “And when [Belgrad] told me he wanted Hannah to return to Columbia as president of production, I was beyond thrilled. Doug sees in her what we all know to be true: she is a singular star.”
“This move has been a dream of mine and something I’ve been discussing with Michael, Amy and Doug for more than a year now,” Tolmach said. “I’ve loved being a studio executive, and Columbia Pictures has always been my home, my family. I’m incredibly blessed to have had Doug as my partner in this job for the past eight years, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished; I am also deeply grateful to Amy and Michael for their unwavering support and leadership.
“Consistent with that, everyone has embraced this next chapter for me, and I am planning on making movies here for a long time. Over the years, I have worked with a lot of truly talented producers, and that I now get to join two of them on the set of Spider-Man is almost too good to be true.”
“With this move, the studio is gaining a new producer whose taste we know and whose creative skill we implicitly trust,” SPE chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said, adding later: “Columbia Pictures is in incredibly strong hands under Doug, and we look forward to working with Matt for a long time to come.”
“Matt has been an unbelievable partner,” Belgrad said. “I treasure our friendship and am so proud of the work we did together.” He continued: “Prior to Hannah’s successful run invigorating Sony Pictures Animation along with Bob Osher, I saw first-hand how fantastic she is; how much she loves storytelling, how deeply she understands the creative process, and how powerfully filmmakers respond to her.”
“I am honoured and tremendously excited by this opportunity to rejoin the Columbia Pictures production team,” Minghella said. “There is a reason this group is revered and respected throughout the industry by film-makers, artists and executives from all corners of our business, and it is a genuine privilege to return and work with my friends and colleagues in this new capacity. At the same time, I am eternally grateful to all the gifted artists, storytellers and staff who have been so dedicated to making Sony Pictures Animation such a phenomenal experience and working environment.”
Tolmach and Belgrad have shared the role of president of Columbia Pictures since 2008 and began guiding the label as a team in 2003. During their tenure at Columbia Pictures, Tolmach oversaw such blockbusters as 2012, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Superbad, Pineapple Express and Zombieland.