Former New Line-DreamWorks-Sony executive and Fifty Shades of Grey producer Michael De Luca has been named Chairman of the Film Group. The move happened after MGM Motion Pictures Group president Jonathan Glickman stepped down to take a non exclusive producing deal.
De Luca will report directly to MGM’s Board of Directors with an expected start date in mid-February. De Luca will oversee MGM’s global film operation including development, production, marketing and distribution of MGM’s film slate, including Orion Motion Pictures. Additionally, he’ll be in charge of MGM’s On-Stage production division. In his role as Chairman of MGM’s Motion Picture Group, De Luca will also join the board of United Artists Releasing, the studio’s domestic theatrical distribution joint venture with Annapurna Pictures.
Glickman worked with De Luca when the latter was New Line production president and Glickman a producer on the Rush Hour series. He expected to be active as he gets assigned certain projects he brought in as an executive.
“I’ve known Mike for 20 years when I produced a film for him that head the rare combination of being a blast to make and a box office hit,” Glickman said. “I’m thrilled that a film buff like De Luca is in the job, and I can’t wait to make more movies with him and this great MGM team.”
Said Kevin Ulrich, MGM’s Chairman of the Board, “It is rare to find an executive who is as experienced and respected inside the studio system as well as in the filmmaking community. Mike’s incredible passion for the industry guides all that he does,” Ulrich said.
“Over the course of his groundbreaking career he has developed exceptional relationships. He has helped launch the careers of some of the industry’s most important talent while overseeing critically acclaimed films and franchises, including Boogie Nights, Austin Powers, Rush Hour, Moneyball and The Social Network. We are looking forward to Mike taking the reins of MGM’s Motion Picture Group and using his unique talents to grow the renowned MGM library.”
Said De Luca, “I am incredibly honored to be taking on this role at MGM and greatly look forward to working with Kevin Ulrich, the entire Board of Directors at MGM and United Artists Releasing, and everyone at the company. MGM is a revered label within the film industry with a long, rich history and I could not be any prouder to join this studio as we head into the year 2020. I look forward to being part of the team which will lead MGM’s film legacy forward with new movies from visionary talent and diverse, original voices. I am especially excited to be stepping into a situation where I get to work with Jonathan Glickman again, his excellent taste and talent make him an invaluable producer for the studio going forward.”
De Luca declined an opportunity to run Paramount when Jim Gianopulos took the reigns at that studio. At 27, De Luca was one of the youngest heads of production in Hollywood history when he was appointed President and COO of New Line Productions, where he was behind such box office hit franchises as Friday, Blade, Austin Powers and Rush Hour. He also championed such auteur hits as Se7en, Wag the Dog, Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Pleasantville while launching the directing careers of Jay Roach, Gary Ross, Alan and Albert Hughes, F. Gary Gray, the Farrelly brothers, David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson. De Luca served as DreamWorks’ Head of Production from 2001 to 2004, overseeing such hits as Old School and Anchorman.
In 2004, De Luca launched his own production company, Michael De Luca Productions, which had a development and production pacts with Columbia Pictures that brought the studio and himself three Oscar Best Picture nominees — The Social Network, Moneyball and Captain Phillips – and such box office hits as 21 and Ghost Rider. He continued on as the Culver City lot’s President of Production before segueing to a producer deal at Universal in 2015. A few years ago when Gianopulos took the reigns at Paramount, De Luca passed on being the No. 2 there.
De Luca also counts three Emmys (for producing both the 89th and the 90th Academy Awards and most recently for producing Ben Stiller’s award-winning Escape At Dannemora for Showtime). Additionally, he has been nominated four times for a Producer’s Guild of America Award. He was a producer on the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that minted over $1 billion worldwide.
As we reported earlier, Glickman will be transitioning to a producer deal with MGM and oversee the completion of the next James Bond film, No Time to Die, out on Easter weekend, April 10.