UPDATE: This statement from Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry Meyer just came across:
“Alan was a terrific partner in every sense of the word,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. “He has a profound understanding of the filmmaking process as well as the ability to bridge the creative and business sides of a studio. He’s been a part of some of the most popular films produced in the last decade, and we’re very happy for him. All of his colleagues at Warner Bros. wish him the best.”
BURBANK, Calif. – May 31, 2012 – Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, announced today that Alan Horn has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios effective June 11. Horn will oversee worldwide operations for The Walt Disney Studios including production, distribution and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar and Marvel, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. Disney’s music and theatrical divisions will also report to Horn.
Horn has been a prominent figure in the film and television industry overseeing creative executive teams responsible for some of the world’s most successful entertainment properties including the Harry Potter film franchise and the hit television series Seinfeld among others.
“Alan not only has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the business, he has a true appreciation of movie making as both an art and a business,” said Iger. “He’s earned the respect of the industry for driving tremendous, sustained creative and financial success, and is also known and admired for his impeccable taste and integrity. He brings all of this to his new role leading our studio group, and I truly look forward to working with him.”
“I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world,” said Horn. “I love the motion picture business and look forward to making a contribution as part of Bob Iger’s team working closely with the dedicated and talented group at the studio.”
Horn was most recently President and COO of Warner Bros. Entertainment where he had oversight of the Studios’ theatrical and home entertainment operations, including the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Warner Premiere (direct-to-platform production), Warner Bros. Theatrical Ventures (live stage) and Warner Home Video. During his 12 year tenure, Warner Bros. Studios was the global box office leader seven times.
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EXCLUSIVE: Veteran Imagine TV executive Robin Gurney, Senior EVP Development & Production, is leaving the company after a seven-year tenure. At the 20th Century Fox TV-based company, Gurney developed and produced such shows as Friday Night Lights, Shark, Lie To … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Steven Rales’ Indian Paintbrush has made a two-year first-look deal with Jeremy Renner and writer-director Don Handfield, partners in the upstart production company The Combine. The financier/producer has deals with its Moonrise Kingdom helmer Wes Anderson and also with Jason Reitman, who is about to start Labor Day for Indian Paintbrush. This marks its first overall deal with an actor-producer.
The deal comes at a time when Renner is soaring. After successive Oscar nominations for The Hurt Locker and The Town, he starred alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible –Ghost Protocol and played Hawkeye in The Avengers. Renner next stars in The Bourne Legacy, which Universal releases in August. Despite his growing bankability, the focus of the deal is to utilize Renner as producer and not necessarily as an actor. Indian Paintbrush’s Rales and Mark Roybal met with Renner and his partner and were impressed by their strong business plan and creative aspirations. They’ve already fixed on the first project, but were keeping it under wraps for the moment. It is likely their sensibility will be closer to The Hurt Locker than The Avengers.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’ With Jeremy Renner Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
When IFC and Sundance Channel president Evan Shapiro departed his post in April, the forthcoming IFC original comedy Bullet In The Face lost its biggest champion. And champions are exactly what a show like Bullet needs considering that the broad, over-the-top half-hour may be the most violent comedy in television history. According to sources, when IFC execs screened the six-episode series, there was shock and nervousness in the room. And now the controversial Bullet, which was not mentioned during IFC’s upfront presentation in March, is being scheduled in a very odd pattern: three episodes back-to-back on two consecutive nights, August 16 and August 17, from 10 PM-11:30 PM.
The uncertainty of what to do with Bullet In The Face is understandable. While its first three screened episodes show it to be uproarious and twisted, it’s also rife with cinematic-level violence and wildly politically incorrect imagery. It stars Canadian actor Max Williams as Gunter Vogler, a brutally psychopathic, deliriously misogynistic German assassin-turned-cop. The character is utterly without conscience or filter, shooting people indiscriminately and accompanying it with radically offensive invective. The blood spurts freely and often. Eric Roberts and Eddie Izzard co-star as wacko mob bosses. But here is the kind of stuff that may have spooked IFC into turning Bullet into a two-night event rather than a weekly series: We see Gunter in a church using a crucifix as a backscratcher and casually lumping former VP Dick Cheney with Hitler and Stalin in conversation. He mows down basketball players on a court as if taking target practice. It isn’t difficult to see watchdog groups taking offense at the material and using it to demonize IFC. Read More »
George Lucas wants to make “experimental” movies, not blockbusters anymore. The Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator told UK publication Empire Magazine that “I’m moving away from all my businesses, I’m finishing all my obligations and I’m going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to make movies that were more experimental in nature, and not have to worry about them showing in movie theatres.” Read More »
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he won’t launch a probe into whether Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt breached the ministerial code of conduct for Hunt’s part in overseeing News Corp’s ultimately failed bid for BSkyB. Hunt has been in the spotlight for his supposed close ties to News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and son James, which raised eyebrows when he was handed a quasi-judicial role overseeing the $14B bid for the 61% of BSkyB that News Corp didn’t already own. During Hunt’s testimony today before the Leveson Inquiry charged with investigating UK media ethics, it was revealed he texted his congratulations to James Murdoch in December 2010 after News Corp’s bid cleared a regulatory hurdle. “Congratulations on Brussels,” Hunt texted to Murdoch after the European Commission ruled it would not block a deal. “Only Ofcom to go.” Not long after, Hunt was appointed the government overseer of the bid, which was scrapped in July as the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp-owned tabloid News Of The World erupted. Hunt told the inquiry today he would not have sent the text if he had known he was getting the overseer role. After watching Hunt today, Cameron said the Culture Minister acted “properly” throughout the period he was responsible for the bid.
Related: UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt To Turn Over Emails, Texts On BSkyB Bid Process Read More »
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman doesn’t sound anything like Dwight Eisenhower, but he seems to to have the architect of D-Day in mind when he talks about his broad plan to invade retail shelves with licensed merchandise. At Paramount, “for the most part we’re going to greenlight films with consumer products potential,” he told investors today at the Nomura U.S. Media & Telecom Summit. That’s key to his goal for Paramount to “focus on profitability” especially by integrating with other Viacom businesses. He’s particularly excited about Viacom’s plans to relaunch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which Viacom bought for $60M in 2009. The characters will appear in an animated series on Nickelodeon this fall and in a film on Christmas 2013. ”Everybody knows the history of it and are excited by the way it’s been reinvented,” Dauman says. “Once you get that strength at the retailer level, it allows you to layer in more properties.” It also ties in with his plan to develop new programs — and marketable characters — to help revive Nickelodeon from its ratings slump. “Nickelodeon will show improvement and it won’t take that long,” he says. Dauman adds that his interest in retail sales contributed to his decision to buy a stake in an Italian animation company with the popular Winx Club franchise, which has “good consumer products for girls.” Read More »
Scarlett Johansson will play Maggie The Cat in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, reports The New York Times. A revival is in the works for spring, 2013, with Jeremy Renner and Chris Pine being considered for the role of Brick. Johansson won … Read More »
Friends alum Wil Calhoun has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner of NBC’s comedy series Whitney, which is heading into its second season. The stint is part of his overall deal with Universal TV, which produces Whitney. Calhoun, who will work … Read More »
Sundance Selects will release the Lucy Mulloy-directed Una Noche in North America. The film premiered in Berlin and plays in competition at Tribeca where it won Best New Narrative Director, Best Cinematography and Best Actor in a Narrative Film … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have set its voice cast for Epic, the new 3D CG-animated film by the makers of Ice Age and Rio. The Dan Shere-scripted film, which had been developed under the title … Read More »
Universal Pictures has just released a new trailer for The Bourne Legacy, the Tony Gilroy-directed spinoff film that stars Jeremy Renner as a Treadstone assassin, same as Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in the Robert Ludlum novels. The surprise in this trailer is how much Jason Bourne there … Read More »
UPDATED: CKx, the company whose portfolio includes reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, the Elvis Presley estate and the Muhammad Ali brand, has been rebranded CORE Media Group, Inc. It is run by former NBC executive Marc Graboff, who was named president earlier this year and has made his first management appointments. “Our focus now is to take CORE to the next level,” Graboff said. “This means everything from creative content, and new means of distribution to changing the way we partner with sponsors, producers and artists to grow our business.” Graboff’s senior management appointments do not include creative positions as he plans to take his time making executive decisions in that area. But he is busy with dealmaking, closing in on several overall deals with unscripted producers and a reality company acquisition. Core is targeting cable reality and scripted series as well as game shows for its development slate, Graboff said, adding that he plans to build the company around its strong core licensing, merchandising and integrated marketing operations. Read More »
Lionsgate is looking at converting several movies into TV series — including, I’m told, the 2010 action film about a team of mercenaries. It wasn’t on CEO Jon Feltheimer’s list this morning, though, when he briefly discussed … Read More »
UPDATE: Lifetime’s EVP programming Rob Sharenow has issued a statement in response to today’s announcement of the consolidations of the movie and miniseries acting categories:
“We are disappointed the Academy has followed suit with its decision last year to merge the movie and miniseries categories by now combining the lead
… Read More »
Dimension Films announced today that it is partnering with Starz Digital Media to offer up the sequel to the fish-ploitation pic Piranha 3DD on-demand and online in places like Amazon, iTunes and Xbox Live the same day as its theatrical … Read More »