He had been co-president of production at 20th Century Fox with Emma Watts since 2007. But it has been an uneasy partnership, to say the least, and Hollywood’s favorite guessing game has been which executive would win or lose in their blatant battle for power. Now it’s clear Alex Young has lost after trying the patience of his Fox Filmed Entertainment bosses once too often. Indeed, Young is one of the most disliked movie execs inside and outside the studio, and it was just a matter of time before Fox wouldn’t tolerate the complaints anymore. No matter, I hear he’s getting a fat producer deal. (UPDATE: I love how Variety is trying to play this as if it were voluntary that Young stepped off the executive ranks to be yet another producer. He even fed Michael Fleming (his main media squeeze) all the projects he’s supposedly going to be attached to. Just one problem: his deal isn’t fully negotiated yet. What a putz for putting the cart before the horse. Could Young be left waiting at the bus stop for leaking like a sieve?)
Young is not untalented: he’s overseen most of the studio’s money-making guy movies: the upcoming Wall Street 2, A-Team, Unstoppable; the past Predator vs Alien, Wolverine, Rise of the Silver Surfer, Live Free of Die Hard, etc. I have no doubt that the same personality traits that made Young insufferable as a studio exec will serve him well as a producer — that is, if he can stop himself from running scripts through his own typewriter. (Oy, you should hear what the screenwriters have told me over the years about working with him.)
And will someone explain to me why Alex’s A-Team development has taken eons? And the latest script is still a piece of shit? Nevertheless, Young is claiming he’ll be attached to the Joe Carnahan-directed pic, along with Tony Scott-directed Unstoppable, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, and Robert Rodriguez’s Predators. Young is also boasting that he’ll come on board 8 to 10 “priority” development projects he acquired. Hmm, we’ll see.
P.S. I understand Young’s exit has nothing to do with his ongoing ugly divorce from Private Practice star Kate Walsh after their marriage lasted a nanosecond. Yes, it’s been embarrassing for the studio to have a top executive badmouthed by TMZ repeatedly for trying to shake her down for every nickel. And it’s even entangled ABC Entertainment czar Steve McPherson whom Young is now legally forcing to talk about the contract which the network gave Walsh. Such an unseemly situation. But that’s not why Young is leaving Building 88. For that, Alex has only himself to blame.