The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav filed his memo to staff on Wednesday regarding the resignation of Toby Emmerich as chairman of the Motion Picture Group and the establishment of three new studio divisions. It’s a slightly similar structure to how Disney manages its franchise brands, with the expectation that DC will have its own maestro Kevin Feige to harness the IP across all mediums.
At the same time, the studio sent out the official press release announcing that former MGM film executives Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy have been named co-chairmen and CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, which currently includes Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. , DC-based film production and Warner Bros. feature animation.
“Michael and Pam are extremely talented creative leaders with a proven track record of success. We are thrilled to welcome them both to our Warner Bros. Discovery family, and we look forward to watching them take this iconic, nearly century-old studio to new heights. higher standards of excellence in cinema,” Zaslav said in a statement.
“Warner Bros. is home to the best creatives in the industry and Pam and I look forward to executing David’s directive to ‘dream big and dream bold’ as we strive to create the next generation of blockbuster movies with the power to entertain, excite and inspire,” said De Luca. “We are grateful to Toby for the tremendous impact he has had on this studio and our industry and we are thrilled to be able to continue to benefit from his vast experience and his creativity.”
Emmerich and Zaslav just traveled to Cannes for the world premiere of Elvis, what the latter told Deadline during the afterparty that seduced him. Zaslav also enjoyed and took a video on his cellphone of the Elvis Presley music-themed light show. Emmerich’s five-year production deal announced today – which includes Warner Bros Discovery funding Emmerich’s venture and owning the distribution rights to his film and TV series – says the former boss of Warner Bros. won’t be far from the land in Burbank, Calif., despite the change here from one New Line executive to another.
As Zaslav says below in his memo, Emmerich “is a great leader and friend to me and to many,” while praising Emmerich’s accomplishments, including 2018 as a record year for the studio with $5.6 billion. dollars at the global box office; Aquaman, the most successful DC film; pictures like Ready Player One, The Meg, a star is born and Crazy Rich Asians;as well as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, the $1.08 billion Joker, who won two Oscars.
Zaslav’s note to staff is below.
This morning, Toby Emmerich informed his team of his decision to step down as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group and start his own production company. I’ve known Toby for years, he’s a great leader and friend to me and many, and I’m so happy for him, and even more so that he chose to stay with our Warner Bros. family. Discovery through this new production venture. We are also grateful to him for agreeing to remain at the helm of Warner Bros. Pictures Group during a transition period this summer.
Over the past few months, Toby and I have been talking about the best structure for Warner Bros. Pictures Group and the idea of creating three separate film segments around Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Feature Animation and DC-based Film Production. I very much appreciated his insight and partnership throughout this process and I am convinced that this is the right strategy for our business going forward.
It was during these same discussions that Toby first told me about his desire to start his own production company. I told him he had my full support. He is incredibly talented and has a well-deserved reputation throughout the industry as a bold and creative visionary. While heading New Line Cinema, then all of Warner Bros. Picture Group, it has been the driving force behind a diverse collection of blockbuster films and series, including The Notebook, Elf, Crazy Rich Asians, A Star Is Born and The Batman. I am confident that he will deliver even more exceptional and unique stories in his new role, and I look forward to continuing our working relationship for many years to come.
We have a long history of world-class production here at Warner Bros. Discovery, and our intention going forward is to tell more of the best stories and share them with an even wider audience around the world. Toby and his team will play an important and valuable role in this endeavour, we are delighted to have joined them and look forward to seeing what they will create in the months and years to come.