EXCLUSIVE: Rick Nicita has left Morgan Creek, where he spent the past three years as COO and co-chairman alongside MCP owner James Robinson. Nicita, who left a longtime perch at CAA to take the job, left after his contract expired December 31. Nicita spent 42 years as an agent before taking the MCP job, and during his long tenure as CAA partner he repped the likes of Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and Rob Reiner.
“Being a hands on producer wasn’t really what i wanted to do,” Nicita told Deadline. “I had left the agency business after a long time, and I really wanted to try another position on the field. I learned a lot and enjoyed it, but when you get to the contract, that’s when you decide if you want to keep doing it and I’ve decided to pursue other opportunities. I have had a lot of incoming calls with opportunities that range from returning to talent representation business to advising some foreign funds and guide them into the Hollywood system. I’m entertaining these opportunities, but haven’t made a decision yet. I’ll see what transpires.”
Nicita’s move to Morgan Creek was expected to stir up a productivity level that was unimpressive back then. In his run, MCP wasn’t very productive either, he admits. They generated one movie, the Daniel Craig-Rachel Weisz fright film Dream House, which was not a hit. There were movies supposed to happen that seemed to halt, and investments like one in Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes film that got scrapped.
“It was a great package of talent, but the movie itself just did not work out,” he said. “With us being not distributors, but rather being financiers and producers, there isn’t the compulsion to have to fill a pipeline. We had the output deal with Universal, and there was nothing pushing us to push the button. Frankly, a lot of movies get greenlit because a distributor has to make something happen, but we proceeded too slowly. And then you look up once in a while and think, gosh, time is flying. The Tupac Shakur movie will get made, and there are several other things in the work. I wish them well,” Nicita said.