Toby Emmerich quits Warner Bros, Michael DeLuca trade expected

Senior Film Executive Toby Emmerich He is stepping down as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures, three sources say type.

A corporate man who has gone through multiple WB ownership changes over more than 20 years, Emmerich’s role transition comes after weeks of chatter that he’s leaving the studio. He will be succeeded by Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, who will be named co-chairs of Warner Bros. Pictures.spokesman Warner Bros Discovery There was no immediate response to a request for comment, but a formal announcement of the leadership change is expected soon.

DeLuca and Abdi’s oversight also includes New Line Cinema. Their impact on DC Films is unclear. The pair most recently led Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer until the company was sold to Amazon. At MGM, the duo landed hits such as “Pizza with Licorice,” “Cyrano” and “House of Gucci,” although critics noted that some of those films failed to do well at the box office.

Emmerich was named chairman in 2018 and oversaw Warner Bros. during a turbulent time that saw two major corporate restructurings. First, the company was sold to AT&T, but huge debt and the telecom’s decision to exit the media business to focus resources on building its 5G network led to another sale, with Discovery taking over the company this year.

Under new CEO David Zaslav, the company has been rebranded as Warner Bros. Discovery, with an eye toward strengthening its in-house streaming service HBO Max and complementing that content with Discovery’s reality show. Emmerich’s departure has raised questions about the future of several of the studio’s key lieutenants, many of whom have served by his side for decades. The future is bleak for Walter Hamada, the CEO of DC Films, who is credited with stabilizing the division’s film output and supporting a company that has suffered several major failures including “Suicide Squad” and “Batman Wars.” The company brought some quality control. Superman: Dawn of Justice. “

DeLuca and Abdi presumably have their own roster of executives they want to bring in. with DeLuca, Zaslav is hiring an experienced executive and producer with deep connections to the creative community. Throughout his career, DeLuca has supported and worked with the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher and Paul Greengrass. He has also been nominated for an Oscar for making films such as “The Social Network,” “Moneyball” and “Captain Philips.”

Emmerich’s reputation has been challenged after former Warner Bros. CEO Jason Killar decided to release the studio’s entire 2021 film at the same time in theaters on HBO Max. That leaves Emmerich having to mend tensions with talent and their angry proxies. Generous back-end payments to affected filmmakers and actors help ease those tensions.

In 2016, Emmerich was promoted to studio president and chief content officer after long overseeing New Line, the Warner division responsible for The Conjuring and Lord of the Rings franchises. Emmerich is beloved by his executive team and respected for his deep understanding of story and filmmaking (he wrote the screenplays for 2000’s “Frequency” and 2007’s “The Last Mimi”) . Emmerich opted to leave voluntarily, but Zaslav also had a series of meetings with potential replacements around Hollywood that may have helped the executive decide to move on, sources said. He is expected to get some kind of production deal.

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