Longtime Paramount executive Ashley Brucks has been named president of Sony’s Screen Gems division, which is known for its genre films such as Insidious: The Red Door, The Pope’s Exorcist, The Grudge, The Invitation, and The Unholy.
Brucks spent the past 15 years at Paramount, rising to the level of senior EVP of production before being named head of development at Paramount Players last year. Prior to that, Brucks worked as a production and development executive at DreamWorks.
Brucks takes over for Steve Bersch, who retired last week following 16 years at Sony, where he oversaw Screen Gems, the studios’ faith-based label Affirm Films, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.
Brucks is only taking over Screen Gems, as Rich Peluso will continue to run Affirm, and Joe Matukewicz will continue to run SPWA. All three will report to Sony’s Josh Greenstein and Sanford Panitch. She will begin her new role on Nov. 13, and it’s unclear whether there will be any overlap with Bersch, who was expected to depart at the end of the year. Scott Strauss, EVP of production at Screen Gems, will also step down once Bersch officially exits.
Given Screen Gems’ specialty, Brucks’ experience with genre films should come in handy, as she’s credited with bringing in the original Paranormal Activity, which sparked a hugely lucrative franchise, and she also oversaw the Quiet Place and Scream franchises for Paramount. Michael Sarnoski‘s A Quiet Place: Day One is slated to hit theaters on March 8, while Christopher Landon‘s Scream VII is expected to be ready sometime in 2025.
Here’s the email that Greenstein and Panitch sent to studio employees:
While the trades were premature in reporting this, we are excited to let you know that starting November 13, Ashley Brucks will join the Motion Picture Group as President, Screen Gems, guiding production for our genre label.
Ashley has overseen some of the most successful genre films in recent years. She most recently served as Senior EVP and Head of Development at Paramount Players. Over her nearly 15-year tenure at Paramount, she brought in the original Paranormal Activity and went on to oversee all seven installments in the nearly billion-dollar franchise.
Ashley also oversaw the critically acclaimed box office hits A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, along with Scream and Scream VI, The Lost City, and sleeper hits Crawl and Pet Sematary. She began her film career at Dreamworks.
We are thrilled to embark on this new chapter with Ashley and have confidence that her leadership will shape a great future for Screen Gems. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Ashley when she starts.
As you all know, Screen Gems is just one part of Steve Bersch’s portfolio, and he will be here until December 1 helping with the transitions across his many operations.
Josh and Sanford