After leaving the superhero-focused studio, Walter Hamada, a contentious former head of DC Films, finds a new home in an exclusive agreement with Paramount Pictures, where he will lead their horror division. The change removes him from the comic book industry, where he rose to notoriety after Ray Fisher alleged he obstructed the inquiry into accusations made against Joss Whedon during the filming of Justice League. Before managing DC for four years, Hamada handled New Line horror smashes like The Conjuring and It. It gives him knowledge of the horror genre.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Walter Hamada has signed an exclusive contract to lead the horror department at Paramount Pictures. The president and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Brian Robbins, expressed his excitement about working with Hamada, saying that he is the ideal partner and visionary to guide their mainstream horror films to success. Hamada is expected to release several mid-budget horror films for theatres and streaming each year. In the following statement, Hamada expresses his pleasure to collaborate with Paramount Pictures and within the horror genre once more:
“I am thrilled to collaborate with Paramount Pictures with the singular goal of creating exceptional movies in the horror genre. Over the course of my career, nothing has been more gratifying than discovering emerging, first-time filmmakers and writers and unleashing their brilliance in a studio setting. Thank you to Brian and the entire team at Paramount Pictures for this tremendous opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”
Hamada chose to break from the MCU’s shared world premise when he joined DC in 2018. The year also witnessed the exit of director and key DCU player Zack Snyder and instead chose to situate DC flicks like Joker and Batman in various realms. It is reasonable to anticipate new and inventive horror stories if he similarly collaborates with Paramount. The Suicide Squad and The Batman both received “Certified Fresh” ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. It is unusual compared to the franchise’s earlier entries, and both of Hamada’s DC projects won two Oscars for Best Actor and Best Score. These achievements helped distinguish Hamada’s DC projects from each other and superhero movies in general.
Now that he is working for Paramount, the executive has the opportunity to discover fresh voices in the horror genre and highlight them, giving up-and-coming artists the proper platform, as he has previously stated he wants to do. Given Smile’s recent success at Paramount and Hamada’s prior work on the It and The Conjuring series, the studio should anticipate new franchises from fresh voices. In addition to Andy Muschietti and David F. Sandberg, who moved to DC after working with Hamada on It and Lights Out, Hamada has the opportunity to introduce a new master of the horror genre in the same vein as James Wan.
As evidenced by his infamous stay at DC Films, Hamada follows his own path, ignoring genre-specific trends in favor of his own. It’s possible that he will do the same with the horror genre as he establishes himself at Paramount Pictures, but it remains to be seen whether this will be to the studio’s advantage or detriment. A new wave of horror could emerge in January 2023 and take over the landscape of the genre with fresh faces and effective frights, starting in March with Scream 6.