After 21 years, Toby Emmerich, the chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures, has reportedly stepped down. Discovery purchased Warner Media from AT&T and merged the two companies to form Warner Bros. Discovery.
According to reporting by The Hollywood Reporter, Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, who previously ran MGM Studios, will take over the studio from Emmerich. Emmerich won’t exactly be making a TOTAL departure from Warner Bros., since he is expected to create his own production firm at the studio. His new company will concentrate not only on movies and television, but also on streaming.
Warner Bros. Discovery will also be financing Emmerich’s business and hold distribution rights as part of an exclusive 5-year deal.
“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.
Deadline reported on Emmerich’s departure letter, which can be read in full below.
After 21 years at New Line and Warner Bros., and a lot of long walks and soul-searching conversations with Zas, I’ve decided to step down from my role as Chairman at the end of the summer. Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy will be coming in to take the reins at the WB Pictures Group. In the interim, Walter, Carolyn, Courtenay, and Richard will continue to report me. Throughout these 21 years – from New Line on Robertson through 2.o in Burbank to the amazing Warner Bros. Pictures Group I’m so privileged to work with now – we as a team have dreamed big, achieved bigger, and managed to stay true to each other and to the art form that draws all of us to this company and this business.
Most of all, we’ve made some beautiful, challenging, bar-raising, paradigm-shifting movies that have left the world a little richer, a little scarier, and a lot more fun – from ELF to Wedding Crashers, from The Notebook to IT, six movies from Middle Earth and of course, The Batman. I’ve been given a lot for our successes, but on each and every film there have been talented executives and team members from development, deal making, physical production, marketing and distribution that have over delivered and made magic happen.
These are your successes as much as they are mine and I am forever grateful for all of your creative vision, passion and tireless devotion to your projects and filmmaking teams. I’ll always love this Studio and will be here to guide the motion picture group through the summer as Mike and Pam transition to their leadership roles at its end. Mike and I worked together at New Line, and he’s a super talented and creative executive. Carolyn, Courtenay, Richard, and Walter will still lead this group as fearlessly as they always have. I’ll be cheering them and all of you on from a production company office on this beautiful lot. I’m proud of all of it and can only say thanks.
I’ll see you on the other side. Toby.
Emmerich was honored with the Producers Guild of America’s Milestone Award in 2019.