It appears that both Brett Ratner and insiders at the studio tried to get the information out about their separation. Brett Ratner, who was the subject of a sexual harrasment story this morning with allegations brought against him by six women, including actresses Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn as well as two actress from the set of Rush Hour 2, said he is “stepping away” from Warner Bros. where he has long has been a producer on the lot. But as soon as he sent out the statement, sources familiar with the situation inside the studio called noting that as of right now, Ratner no longer has an office on the Warner Bros.’ lot. He has since been moved off the Goldfinch project, and his first-look deal with Warner Bros. will not be renewed.
Goldfinch is author Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller which is already in the capable hands of producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.
None of this is surprising, given that AT&T is in the midst of an $85.4 billion acquisition of Time-Warner and is waiting for the Justice Department to clear it. Time Warner not only has Warner Bros. under its corporate umbrella but also HBO and CNN.
Here is Ratner’s statement.
“In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities. I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”
RatPac and Dune Entertainment have been fueling Warner Bros.’ slate — the goal of the deal was to encompass 75 films, and the films so far have included Gravity, The LEGO Movie, Annabelle, American Sniper, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, The Conjuring 2, Lights Out, Suicide Squad, The LEGO Batman Movie, Kong: Skull Island, Wonder Woman, Justice League and It.
While Ratner started RatPac with James Packer, the latter exited after a bad run at Warner Bros, and was replaced by Len Blavatnik. The RatPac deal became a passive slate financing deal and that will play itself out through March of next year. However, we suspect that if the company continued under Blavatnik, the deal could be extended but all that remains to be seen. For the time being, it’s clear that Ratner is now toxic to Warner Bros.