Amazon Studios has a new face at the forefront, former NBC entertainment exec Jennifer Salke, and her first move is to seek big-name creative talent straight from Hollywood. Salke, only four months into her stint at Amazon, seeks to bring on some of the most well-known talent in the entertainment industry in order to help bolster the service's lineup. The first name on her list is Dick Wolf, famed creator of procedural crime dramas like Law and Order, who she claims is a close personal friend and already talking with her about making something for the network.
Salke told the New York Times that her strategy is not to poach, but rather to wait until a given star or creator is either available or about to become available, then approach them with an offer. Mad TV alumni and producer Jordan Peele, fresh off the success of his first horror movie, Get Out, is said to be Salke's next target. "I'm out there banging the drum," Salke said of her efforts to draw in new talent to the tech giant. Looking to the near future, Salke said that she wants to create some "big, addictive" programming targeted specifically at women, along with some comedy shows. She went into some detail about plans for a new show called "Modern Love," created hand in hand with filmmaker John Carney. The show is meant to explore different types of love such as romantic, platonic, family and self-reflecting, in a short-form anthology format.
That's not to say that Amazon Studios doesn't already have some big names and iconic franchises on board, along with grand plans already in motion. One of the biggest examples of that is a Lord of the Rings series being made with help from J.R.R. Tolkien's estate. The adaptation is being monitored closely in development by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who Salke reports to every other day on the matter. The studio also has a property made by late military writer Tom Clancy, "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan", all set up and ready to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on August 31. Salke has inherited responsibility for those long-term projects, along with many others, and is taking her new responsibilities in stride.