Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producer Scott Rudin announced to staff Friday that he will shutter his LA office at the end of the month. While Rudin’s decision was based on his desire to centralize his operation from his New York base, speculation has become heightened that he will soon end his studio production deal with Disney and make a new one with Sony Pictures very shortly. We’ll see how this plays out, but Rudin had been looking to close that LA office even before Disney sold Miramax Films, where Rudin made most of his films under the Disney deal.

Rudin this year became the rare producer with two Best Picture nominees in the same Oscar race with The Social Network and True Grit. He seems a natural fit for Sony Pictures and its topper Amy Pascal. Rudin is a filmmaker-driven producer who prizes literature as source material, and Pascal shares a similar sensibility. The studio has its first Best Picture nominee in years with The Social Network and other upcoming projects at the studio include Moneyball and Cleopatra, based on the Stacy Schiff book which will be turned into Angelina Jolie vehicle. This hands-on guy doesn’t let anything stray from his personal attention, and so the LA office closure makes. Indeed, all of the big pictures Rudin either has in production or is prepping were generated from New York. That includes Memphis, the Paul Greengrass-directed drama about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the David Fincher-directed Steve Zaillian-scripted The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator, the Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom and the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young.

There are four shows he’ll open on Broadway this season — the House of Blue Leaves revival to star Ben Stiller and Edie Falco, Motherfucker With the Hat with Chris Rock, Book of Mormon with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the Olivier Award-winning Jerusalem. And he’s already started lining up next season with a revival of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth to star Nicole Kidman and James Franco next fall. Rudin also made an HBO deal for a pilot about the TV cable news world that re-teams him with Oscar-nominated The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin. The best way to manage all this is for it all to be under one roof.