Toby Emmerich, the chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group has announced that he is stepping down. The announcement came after Discovery took over Warner Media from AT&T and merged the two to make Warner Bros. Discovery.
Per THR, taking over the studio from Emmerich would be Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy who were at the helm of MGM studio. However, this is not Emmerich’s complete exit from WB as he will launch his own production company at the studio. His new venture will focus not only on films and TV but also on streaming.
Hence, as part of an exclusive 5-year agreement, Warner Bros. Discovery will finance Emmerich’s venture and will retain distribution rights. “I am thrilled that he’s chosen to remain a part of our Warner Bros. Discovery family with this long-term production deal and look forward to seeing the fantastic stories that he and his team will create for us in the years ahead,” David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery said.
An accomplished writer and producer, Emmerich has been with the studio since 1992 starting as a dual development and music executive. He then went on to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema. Later assuming the position of the President and Chief Content Officer for Warner Bros. Pictures Group before taking the studios’ lead in 2017. Emmerich said in the official statement.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of this storied company these last three decades and to lead the world-class Warner Bros. film studio team, and I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish together,”
Further adding, “This seemed like the perfect time to transition to something new, and I am excited to be pursuing my passion for storytelling in a more hands-on way with my own production company.” Warner Bros. had its most successful year ever in 2018, under Emmerich’s leadership, with a global box office of $5.57 billion. The year saw DC’s Aquaman as the biggest box-office hit along with Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Lady Gaga’s Oscar-winning A Star is Born, The Nun, and Crazy Rich Asians among others.
Furthermore, in 2019, the Studio released Joker, the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time directed by Todd Philip. The Joaquin Phoenix starrer earned $1.08 billion at the global box office and won two Oscars. The same year Emmerich was honored with the Producers Guild of America’s Milestone Award.