Variety reports that Michael Helfant, former chief operating officer of Beacon Pictures, has joined Marvel Studios as Avi Arad’s No. 2.
He comes to Marvel as the comic book publisher is developing a slate of 10 films it will finance and produce internally with a $525 million debt facility it raised from Merrill Lynch. The films will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.
In his new role as president-chief operating officer of Marvel Studios, the company’s movie division, Helfant will oversee all operational activities, including production and business affairs, leaving creative to studio topper Arad.
Helfant’s responsibilities include both internal productions and characters the company has licensed to other studios for film and TV.
He’s expected to start closing deals shortly with talent to write and direct films in the company’s internal production slate.