Below is Toby Emmerich’s farewell note to Warner Bros employees on Wednesday. As we reported this morning, the chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group is getting a lucrative five-year production deal on the property, so he’s not getting far. Apparently he was offered to stay, but would have had to relinquish oversight of Warner Bros. Animation and DC, an option the former New Line president didn’t want.
Word is that former MGM film executives Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy will arrive at Warners on August 1st. In the meantime, as Emmerich points out here, DC boss Walter Hamada, COO Carolyn Blackwood, Warner president of production Courtenay Valenti, and New Line boss Richard Brener will continue to report to Emmerich.
Even with De Luca walking in, should Brener and Blackwood decide to stay, the New Line Gang is back together. It’s an interesting revolving door considering Emmerich took over as executive director for De Luca at New Line in 2001 seven and Austin Powers was ousted after a series of unsuccessful pictures.
David Zaslav “thrills” Toby Emmerich, who remains part of the Warner Bros Discovery family, outlines new studio structure
There’s a successful life after studio moguldom as a producer. Sure, it’s usually the parachute deal given to Titans and there have been a few that have faded. But there are some great examples of studio masterminds who went on to set blockbuster hit records, including former Warner Bros. global production president Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who used it to generate billions for Paramount transformers Franchise and former president of Buena Vista Motion Picture Group Nina Jacobson, who steered the $3 billion in revenue hunger games franchise and is growing like mushrooms Crazy rich Asians franchise for Warners. Over at Sony, Matt Tolmach, former Co-President of Production, was an invaluable producer, overseeing and directing major event titles for the studio, including the poison and disease Movies and the revived jumanji Franchise.
It will be exciting to see Emmerich’s achievements in this next phase of his career.
Here is Emmerich’s kind message to his team:
After 21 years at New Line and Warner Bros. and many long walks and deep conversations with Zas, I have decided to step down from my role as Chairman at the end of the summer. Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy will take over the reins of WB Pictures Group. In the meantime, Walter, Carolyn, Courtenay, and Richard will continue to report me.
In those 21 years – from New Line at Robertson to 2.0 in Burbank to the amazing Warner Bros. Pictures Group that I’m now so privileged to work with – as a team we’ve dreamed big, achieved bigger, and managed to stay true to each other and the art form that draws us all to this company and this business. Above all, we’ve made some beautiful, challenging, benchmark, paradigm-shifting movies that have made the world a little richer, a little scarier, and a lot funnier – by ELEVEN to wedding crasherout The notebook to ITsix movies from middle earth and of course The Batman.
I’ve had a lot of credit for our accomplishments, but with every single film there have been talented leaders and team members from development, contracting, physical production, marketing and distribution who have passed down and made magic possible. These are your achievements as well as mine and I am forever grateful for all of your creative vision, passion and unwavering dedication to your projects and filmmaking teams.
I will always love this studio and be here to lead the film group through the summer as Mike and Pam step into their leadership roles at the end. Mike and I worked together at New Line and he is a super talented and creative leader.
Carolyn, Courtenay, Richard and Walter will still lead this group as fearlessly as they always have. I’ll be cheering for them and all of you from a production company office on this beautiful property. I’m proud of that and can only say thank you. See you on the other side.