Malaysian-born director James Wan makes it to 100 most powerful people in entertainment list

Melanie Chalil
‘The Conjuring’ filmmaker James Wan made it to the list of entertainment moguls thanks to a finance pact with indie production house Starlight Media. — AFP pic

PETALING JAYA, Oct 17 — Kuching-born Australian filmmaker James Wan has landed a coveted spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Most Powerful People in Entertainment 2019 list.

The Aquaman director who is best known for The Conjuring supernatural horror films was placed at No. 80, marking his debut on the list.

According to the showbusiness magazine, this year’s list is the most diverse yet.

The 42-year-old director-producer, who is based in Los Angeles, California, earned a spot on the list thanks to a deal with indie production house Starlight Media.

“A financing pact with Starlight Media allows him to make edgier fare; once he wraps indie Malignant, he’ll focus on Aquaman, working on the sequel to his US$1.1 billion (RM4.6 billion) DC hit,” The Hollywood Reporter published.

The list also featured quick-fire questions with Wan where he was asked to name the best or worst thing about the current merger mania that is sweeping across Hollywood.

“The fun thing is seeing different worlds and characters cross into each other’s stories and the possibilities of IPs getting integrated into other mediums and platforms.

“But of course, one or two people controlling everything is never a good thing. It limits individualism and creativity,” said Wan.

Among the questions asked included his last big splurge (vintage furniture) and his go-to podcast for a long drive which Wan said he prefers listening to music from the 1940s and the 1950s.

The Perth-raised director who is engaged to Romanian-German actress and producer Ingrid Bisu revealed in the interview that he had always wanted to own a small eatery business.

The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 most powerful people in entertainment 2019 list featured the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, and Barack and Michelle Obama for their production company’s Netflix deal.

The top spot was retained by Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger following a US$71.3 billion acquisition of Fox assets and generating a record US$8 billion at the box office.

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