Courtenay Valenti

Source: Warner Bros

Courtenay Valenti

Courtenay Valenti has been appointed head of film, streaming and theatrical at Amazon and MGM Studios.

The former president of production and development at Warner Bros will start in her new role on March 1, nearly a year after Amazon’s acquisition of MGM. She reports to Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke.

Julie Rappaport, who oversaw the Amazon Original Movies and MGM film teams since the merger last year, will continue to oversee both film slates in her new role as head of film creative and strategy. She reports to Valenti.

Valenti was at Warner Bros for 33 years and in her latest role oversaw the film slates for Warner Bros Pictures and Warner Bros Feature Animation. Under her supervision the pipeline delivered the last four Harry Potter films, The Great Gatsby, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Lego Movie, among others.

She also played a key role developing and shepherding Elvis, Happy Feet and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Salke’s full memo to staff appears below.

Hi team,

It’s been nearly a year since Amazon acquired MGM, and through that time I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the MGM team and their work. I’ve been so impressed by the creativity and innovation and by the quality of the MGM slate, including Orion Pictures. These films have been a terrific complement to our Amazon Originals, and I’d like to thank Julie Rapaport for the amazing job she has done as the interim head of both film groups.

Our strategy now encompasses an expanded investment in film, including a robust theatrical plan and growing streaming program, in order to bring even more movies to film lovers all over the world. A key part of this strategy has been taking a focused and deliberate approach to ensure we have the right people in place to execute our creative vision. To that end, I’m pleased to announce that Courtenay Valenti is joining us on March 1 as Head of Film, Streaming and Theatrical, overseeing all films for Amazon and MGM Studios, reporting to me. Courtenay is a seasoned executive with more than three decades of experience in the industry, strong ties with filmmakers and creatives, and an outstanding reputation for excellence, from producing blockbuster movies to developing new franchises. Under her leadership, the team will continue to carefully curate our slate to deliver a well-rounded selection of tentpoles, prestige films, and genre fare.

Courtenay was most recently President of Production and Development at Warner Bros., overseeing the film slates for both Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Feature Animation. During her 33 years with the company, she oversaw numerous successes including the last four Harry Potter films, The Great Gatsby, Fantastic Beasts, Crazy Rich Asians, The Lego Movie, Lego Batman, You’ve Got Mail, and The Intern. She also played a central role in developing and shepherding the Oscar-winning Happy Feet and Mad Max: Fury Road as well as this year’s Academy Award nominated Elvis. Given her extraordinary track record in the film business, it’s an honor to have her join us.

We’re well positioned for the future, and Julie is a big part of that. Recent successes achieved under her leadership include Being the Ricardos, Catherine Called Birdy, Goodnight Oppy, My Policeman, and Sundance award winners Emergency and Nanny. Upcoming titles Julie has also overseen include Air, Red One, Candy Cane Lane, Saltburn, Foe, The Burial and Cassandro as well the MGM titles Creed III, Challengers and Road House. Julie will continue to oversee the slate for Amazon Originals and MGM in her new role as Head of Film Creative and Strategy, reporting to Courtenay. I’ll have more to share about our team in the coming weeks.

Courtenay and Julie share a passion for storytelling and for storytellers, and together they will give us an even stronger creative edge and enhance our distinctive place as the Home for Talent.

I know you’ll join me in welcoming Courtenay to the team.