Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy agree to join Warner Bros.  Discovery – The Hollywood Reporter

Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy agree to join Warner Bros. Discovery – The Hollywood Reporter

The management structure of the film studios of Warner Bros. Discovery is taking shape, according to people familiar with the matter The Hollywood Reporteras the management team of Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy have reached an agreement to lead Warners and New Line as soon as Amazon releases them from their contracts at MGM – starting next month.

Toby Emmerich, who has run Warners and New Line since 2017, will step down from that role but is expected to get a production deal.

Following the departure of DeLuca and Abdy, their direct reports at MGM will report to Julie Rappaport, reporting to Jen Salke, on an interim basis until Mike Hopkins appoints a replacement and announces a new structure. This structure should involve an expanded film effort for MGM, including wider theatrical releases, and Amazon.

The strategy of the head of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, as he shapes the company, is to create three verticals, each with its own direction: Warner Bros.-New Line under DeLuca and Abdy, DC and Animation. DC Films President Walter Hamada will report to DeLuca and Abdy until new leadership is identified and the head of the animation vertical has yet to be named.

Zaslav’s intention is to model Warners after the system that former Disney CEO Bob Iger implemented at Disney, with verticals reporting directly to him. Zaslav spoke to former Disney studio president Alan Horn about his role as an advisor. (In devising the vertical approach to overseeing the executive structure of the Warner Bros. Discovery film, Zaslav consulted not only Horn but also Iger.)

Sorting out DC remains a major challenge for Zaslav. Sources say he asked Todd Phillips, the multi-hyphen who created 2019’s biggest billion dollar Joker, to do more in the DC Universe, potentially acting as an advisor though he won’t serve in an executive capacity. A knowledgeable source says Phillips and Zaslav uncovered a report, though Phillips isn’t an expert on the wider DC Universe. While at Disney-owned Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige oversees filmmaking, television animation and publishing, there hasn’t been a single voice to guide DC. (DC head Hamada oversees the cinematic universe based on the company’s characters, including its HBO Max spinoffs.) DC’s properties are only loosely connected — and have sometimes taken place in entirely separate universes. , like the Oscar-winning film Joker and Matt Reeves The Batmanreleased in March.

As a Disney and Warners veteran, Horn held off on a formal deal until Zaslav formed his management team. Horn didn’t want to get involved earlier due to his relationships with various multi-players or potential players in the mix. His return to Warners is something of a loophole moment as he left Warners in 2011 amid a corporate shuffle there. He then went on to have a very successful run at Disney. In a similar vein, De Luca was fired as president of production at New Line in 2001, following a series of flops, including Adam Sandler’s bombshell, Little Nickyto return more than 20 years later at the head of the film studio.

Warners declined to comment, as did De Luca and Abdy and Emmerich.

Aaron Couch contributed to this report.

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