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Amazon hires Spyglass and Universal Studios veteran to heads its MGM acquisition venture


Los Angeles, Sep 17
Amazon MGM Studios has grabbed veteran Peter Oillataguerre from Spyglass to make him its Head of Feature Film Production.

Oillataguerre is taking on the newly created role of head of feature film production for Amazon MGM Studios, Hollywood Reporter reported.

The highly rated executive, who comes from Spyglass, will report to Dan Scharf, head of global business operations, and is expected to work closely with head of film, streaming and theatrical Courtenay Valenti and the company's film teams as the newly B2B home delivery to films ventures seeks to expand its footprint in the entertainment industry and Hollywood.

"Peter brings with him more than 20 years of industry experience. He is a veteran executive with tremendous expertise in the world of production. In his new Avatar, he will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the feature film production cycle for the Amazon MGM Studios film group," Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon MGM Studios, wrote in an email to staff on Friday.

At Spyglass, Oillataguerre worked on films such as 'Scream', 'Hellraiser' and 'The Upside', and also worked on TV series 'Project Runway'. Prior to Spyglass, he worked at Universal Studios and MGM Studios, with projects, including James Bond features 'Skyfall' and 'No Time to Die', as well as 'Creed'.

Amazon gave Ben Affleck’s 'Air' a global theatrical release, considered significant as streamers had been reluctant to grant traditional releases to their properties previously. The studio has multiple titles due out later this year, including 'Totally Killer' streaming on October 6. It is giving Emerald Fennell's festival feature 'Saltburn' a limited release on November 24, Hollywood Reporter said.

Amazon acquired MGM Studios for a record $8.45 billion, making it its bold B2B deal and foray into the entertainment industry, thus turbocharging its streaming ambitions, considered its second biggest deal after it acquired Whole Foods grocery chain in the US. The deal is the second-largest acquisition in Amazon's history, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

Amazon hopes to leverage MGM's storied filmmaking history and wide-ranging catalog of 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows to help bolster Amazon Studios, its film and TV division. Prime Video watchers would now be able to watch a richer fare of movies and TV serials across the globe as Amazon expands its footprint in the show business, as it competes fiercely with HBO, Apple TV, Netflix and Disney Hulu OTT platforms.

Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, had called the deal then clinched way back in 2021 as: "It's very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling."

In a statement, MGM Chairman Kevin Ulrich had then said: "The opportunity to align MGM's storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination."

Amazon shares barely moved up on the merger announcement then in the New York Stock Exchange.