Sony Japan Executive Bill Ireton Steps Down To Launch Independent Production Venture



Tokyo-based production executive Bill Ireton is stepping down from his role at Sony Pictures International Productions, Japan, where he oversaw local production, to launch an independent production venture effective January 1, 2023.

The new venture will develop and produce content for multiple platforms, primarily based on Japanese I.P. for audiences around the world. 

During his time at Sony, Ireton oversaw production on a slate of Japanese-language features, including Hell Dogs, starring Junichi Okada and directed by Masato Harada; I Am Makimoto, starring Sadao Abe, and Violence Action, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

“Making movies with Sony Pictures over the past four years has been a wonderful experience which has helped catapult this thrilling new chapter of my career,” said Ireton. 

Sanford Panitch, President of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, said: “I want to thank Bill for his work the past few years. The making of Japanese films continues to be a high priority for the company. Bill’s experience and relationships contributed to our continuing efforts in local production in Japan, and we wish him luck with his new venture, which I know is something he’s wanted to do for quite some time.”

Ireton was a pioneer in producing local-language films for the US studios in Asia, kickstarting local production for Warner Bros in Japan in 2007. During a seven-year tenure, he was involved in 49 films, including the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy; Unforgiven, directed by Sang-il Lee and based on the Clint Eastwood movie, and The Straw Shield, directed by Takashi Miike. 

He was also involved in the production of worldwide blockbuster hit Letters From Iwo Jima, starring Ken Watanabe.

Sony Pictures International Productions, co-headed by Shebnem Askin and Michael Rifkin, is the local-language production arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group.