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Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Officially Split From Paramount

by
October 5, 2008

Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Officially Split From Paramount

This may be the first year of the next generation of Hollywood. New Line Cinema collapsed early in the year, almost all of the small independent studios (Warner Independent, Picturehouse) were dissolved mid-year, United Artists came back from the dead, and now DreamWorks has officially split from Paramount. The announcement arrived today stating that Steven Spielberg will take his DreamWorks company with him in a separation from Paramount. DreamWorks will continue to operate in a new partnership with Reliance BIG Entertainment. David Geffen, who was one of the three founders of DreamWorks, will not join the new company. So what will this mean for upcoming projects?

Well, as with the New Line collapse, it's all a bit complicated. DreamWorks will take control over a few in development projects that Paramount will have the option to co-finance and co-distribute. All other projects currently in development will remain at Paramount with the opportunity for the "new" DreamWorks to co-finance those that Spielberg is attached. Additionally, Spielberg will produce the Transformers franchise for Paramount and will collaborate on three other upcoming Paramount films, including a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic When Worlds Collide. Beyond that, we'll wait for specifics on a case-by-case basis.

With the announcement, Spielberg and Paramount CEO Brad Grey, who are not particular on friendly terms, publicly commented on working with each other and the split. Spielberg said, "Brad is a friend and I am pleased to be able to continue to work with him and his team with whom we have shared many successes. We have enjoyed a productive creative and business collaboration with Brad, Paramount and Viacom over the past few years and are enthusiastic about extending the relationship for many years to come." Grey said, "We have had a great run with the DreamWorks team both creatively and financially. In particular, it has been a true honor working closely with a storyteller of Steven's talent and stature."

I'm very curious to see how Hollywood changes with this announcement (if at all). What will the state of the film industry be at the end of the year? Will this provide better opportunities individually for both studios? All that I can say is that I'm a fan of Paramount; they've been great the past few years and have continued to show they're one of the best studios in Hollywood with strong releases like Iron Man and Cloverfield. However, if Spielberg begins to distribute his DreamWorks films through Universal, I'm concerned that they will get the worst treatment. That studio, on the other hand, seems to be one of the few currently stuck in a rut. I just hope that the effect of this split is indeed positive for everyone involved.

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  • darrin
    universal produced some of the best films this year, the incredible hulk, Hellboy2 and my personal favorite Wanted. I wonder where Shia would be.
  • Jesse Kale
    Universal is a great company to be with, there one of the few companies left that love to throw to make weird movies. Sure there not always that good, but hey it's better than being with Fox. All they do is give you a good trailer, and no money for the movie.
  • sng. Sheep
    This might b a really good thing, we might finally have a Spielberg movie without the morbidly happy ending :))
  • Peloquin
    I guess this is evidence of the financial crisis affecting Hollywood...and it's probably just the beginning...
  • Alfredo
    As long as everyone stays away from Fox, I'm happy. Although I have to say Universal didn't do that good of a job advertising their movies this past summer. Can DW not function independently just yet? As far as the current econ crisis, I wonder if maybe the same thing that's happening to banks is gonna start happening to small studios: that is, that they get fully absorbed by the big boys.

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