EXCLUSIVE: The not-so-discreet backroom discussions that were going on between Stacey Snider, Steven Spielberg and Comcast for Snider to take a top post at Universal Pictures are now as dead as disco, I’m told.
There were widespread (but murky) reports in the last few weeks that Ron Meyer might move up to make room for the former top Universal exec Snider in a senior post at the studio. Spielberg was in the middle of those discussions, though it was unclear what role he would have played beyond a supportive one. The timing of the whole thing was unusual, given that Universal is poised to have its best annual domestic box office results ever.
I’m told that Snider and Spielberg are definitely staying where they are at DreamWorks, after solidifying a new round of funding from Reliance. They continue in a distribution deal at Disney that would have required a complicated exit. After leaving Paramount, Snider and Spielberg got their Reliance funding and made the Disney deal at the last minute after it was expected they would release their films through Universal, the lot where their headquarters are based. That created strained relations, but they seem to be thawing with forward progress on another Jurassic Park, a big piece of business for both parties. Spielberg most recently directed Lincoln, and has Robopocalypse up next with Chris Hemsworth, while he continues to circle the Moses epic Gods and Kings with Warner Bros.