Warner Brothers is welcoming some new leadership into its ranks. Former MGM film executives and industry veterans Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy have been appointed co-chairpersons and CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, which includes Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, DC-Based Film Production, and Warner Bros. Feature Animation.
Each of the above-mentioned divisions of Warner Bros. Pictures Group will break into three distinct segments—Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and DC-Based Film Production—each with its own separate leadership. The move comes as part of a new long-range strategy from the company. In the meantime, the segments remain under the film group with De Luca and Abdy overseeing the day-to-day. Most recently, DeLuca and Abdy served as MGM Studios‘ motion picture group chairman and president, respectively, since 2020. The change-up follows Amazon‘s $8.5 billion deal to acquire MGM. De Luca and Abdy will join Warner Bros. Discovery this summer.
About the new leadership, David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer for Warner Bros. Discovery stated:
“Michael and Pam are supremely talented creative leaders with a proven track record of success. We are thrilled to welcome them both to our Warner Bros. Discovery family, and look forward to seeing them take this nearly century-old iconic studio to even greater heights of excellence in film.”
De Luca added:
“Warner Bros. is home to the best creatives in the business and Pam and I look forward to executing on David’s directive to ‘dream big and dream bold’ as we strive to create the next generation of hit movies with the power to entertain, excite and inspire. We’re grateful to Toby for the tremendous impact he has had on this studio and our industry, and we’re thrilled to be able to continue to benefit from his vast experience and creativity.”
During De Luca and Abdy‘s time at MGM, the studio released Oscar-nominated films including House of Gucci and Licorice Pizza, as well as the finale of Daniel Craig‘s run as James Bond, No Time to Die, which received an Oscar win for Best Original Song. Separately, De Luca has ramped up an impressive portfolio across his 30-year career, including Reminiscence, Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network, Boogie Nights, Blade, and The Mask. He also produced the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, which grossed $1.3 billion. He is the former president of production at New Line Cinema and DreamWorks. Abdy has produced several acclaimed and award-winning features during her time as President of Production at New Regency, including Birdman, Gone Girl, The Big Short, and The Revenant, which also earned 12 total Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globes. During her previous tenure as Partner and Head of Film at Makeready, she produced Queen & Slim and A Million Little Pieces. Abdy was also the President of Scott Stuber‘s Bluegrass Films.
De Luca and Abdy take the reins from longtime studio executive Toby Emmerich who is stepping down as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. Prior to the position, Emmerich served as President and Chief Content Officer and President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema. Emmerich has been with Warner Bros. for 30-years, first joining the company as a dual development and music executive in 1992. He is an accomplished screenwriter and producer and will launch a new company at Warner Bros. focused on film, television, and streaming, with Warner Bros. Discovery financing and holding distribution rights as part of an exclusive 5-year agreement.
Under Emmerich’s leadership, Warner Bros. Pictures Group saw their most successful year in 2018 with a total global box office of $5.57 billion, driven by a variety of films including DC‘s superhero success Aquaman, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Ready Player One, The Meg, Rampage, A Star Is Born, The Nun, and Crazy Rich Asians. The following year the studio released DC‘s Joker and IT Chapter Two, both of which saw massive success.