EXCLUSIVE: Scott Free president Michael Schaefer is in talks to become president at New Regency, sources said. If his deal makes, he will run the company under owner New Regency owner Arnon Milchan and chairman Yariv Milchan. The Fox-based producer/financier has cleaned up in the awards circuit the past few years with films including 12 Years A Slave, Birdman and The Revenant, and has been reorganizing since Brad Weston exited the post of president/CEO last May. Late last week, production president Pam Abdy exited her post, leaving after she finishes readying the Michael Fassbender-starrer Assassin’s Creed for release in December. The company has the next film by 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen, who’ll next helm Widows.
Schaefer has been president of Ridley Scott’s Scott Free since 2012, and has helped steer that company to prolific levels commensurate with the remarkable paceat which Scott likes to work. Schaefer has been involved in all of Scott’s films, and was Oscar nominated in his work as producer of The Martian last year. Projects upcoming include the Murder on the Orient Express which Scott Free is producing and which Johnny Depp will star alongside director Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley and Michelle Pfeiffer will star in; Scott Free is in post on Alien: Covenant and is fast tracking the Don Winslow bestseller The Cartel for Scott to direct, among other projects. Before coming to Scott Free, Schaefer was senior veep of acquisitions and development for Summit Entertainment, where he worked on such films as the Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, 50/50 and Source Code. I could not get a confirmation from New Regency, so stay tuned.