Former 20th Century Fox Film chief Jim Gianopulos has emerged as the front-runner to rebuild the struggling Paramount Pictures movie studio, it was reported Wednesday.
Gianopulos, who ran Fox for 16 years as it produced such hit franchises as “X-Men” and “Avatar” is the prime candidate to replace Brad Grey as head of the Viacom Inc.-owned studio, two people familiar with the matter told the Los Angeles Times. Michael De Luca, the former Sony executive who produced this year’s Oscars, is being courted to run the studio’s film division under Gianopulos, they told the newspaper.
Viacom Chief Executive Bob Bakish has been moving quickly to secure a replacement for Grey, who ran Paramount for 12 years until he was pushed out as chairman and chief executive last month after a string of box-office flops and steep financial losses.
Representatives of New York-based Viacom and Los Angeles-based Paramount have declined to comment.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported Gianopulos’ front-runner status.