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Warner Bros Shakeup: Studio’s Releases On Greg Silverman & Toby Emmerich

Deadline logo Deadline 12/14/2016 Erik Pedersen
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Here are the verbatim press releases issued by Warner Bros Pictures today regarding the exit of Greg Silverman as President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production and Toby Emmerich’s ascension to President and Chief Content Officer at Warner Bros. Pictures Group:

GREG SILVERMAN TO LAUNCH MULTI-FACETED ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURE AT WARNER BROS.

Will Segue from Executive Role at Warner Bros. Pictures at Start of 2017

Widely respected film industry veteran Greg Silverman, who currently serves as President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, has announced that he will be stepping away from his executive responsibilities at the first of the year to lead a multi-faceted new venture focusing on both content production and media and technology-related entrepreneurial ventures with support from Warner Bros.  Further details regarding Silverman’s company, which will be based at Warner Bros. Studios, will be announced at a later date.

“We’ve seen a great transformation of our business that involves New York, China and Silicon Valley, as much as it does Los Angeles. I’m looking for ways to innovate the business and expand what we do,” said Silverman.  “With the support of Warner Bros., this venture will be centered on building properties and looking for unique franchise opportunities across all media and platforms.  I am so grateful to Kevin for his support over the last few years and his incredible generosity in extending that support toward my desire to start my own company.  Warner Bros. is home to the finest people and filmmakers in the world, and it has been my great honor to be a part of that marvelous tradition.  I look forward to collaborating with Kevin, Toby, Sue and all my colleagues and friends at the Studio in this new capacity for many years to come.”

“2016 was a great year for us, and Greg has been a big part of that—from the launch of our DC film universe with “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad,” to helping realize the next franchise in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, expanding the Warner Animation Group brand, and developing mid-budget hits like ‘Sully’ and ‘The Accountant,’” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. “Greg is a part of the Warner Bros. family and we all look forward to working with him on this new venture that combines his passion for film, technology and China.”

During his tenure at Warner Bros., Silverman worked on a number of the Studio’s most popular and profitable titles, including “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “The Hangover” trilogy, “Inception,” “Interstellar,” and the revitalized DC franchise titles “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad” and next year’s “Wonder Woman.”  He was also a key executive on a number of highly anticipated upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures releases, including “King Arthur,” “LEGO Batman,” “LEGO Ninjago,” “Dunkirk,” “Minecraft,” “Aquaman” and “Ready Player One.”

Rising through the ranks from junior production executive to worldwide head of development and production, Silverman worked at Warner Bros. almost two decades.  During that time, he formed longstanding relationships with many of the industry’s most-talented and respected creatives, including Ben Affleck, Zack and Deborah Snyder, Christopher Nolan, Steve Carell, Alfonso Cuarón, Todd Phillips, Guy Ritchie, Denise DiNovi, Margot Robbie, Sandra Bullock, Will Smith, Anne Hathaway, Patty Jenkins, Bradley Cooper, David Yates and Steven Spielberg.

Silverman was also a key part of the company’s ongoing effort to expand its business in China, including securing such films as “Meg” and “Brother Orange,” both global-release films being made in China with Chinese talent.   He also worked with Flagship Entertainment, Warner Bros.’ joint venture with CMC, to help source and create local language product.

Silverman also furthered many of the Studio’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.  He created the Black List writers competition for underrepresented writers and served as one of the founding executives of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Emerging Film Directors Workshop, which launched in March 2016.  He also championed diversity among the directors, producers, casts, writers and subject matter of Warner Bros. Pictures’ releases to help the Studio lead the charge in making films more representative of the global audience.

TOBY EMMERICH NAMED PRESIDENT AND CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, WARNER BROS. PICTURES GROUP

(December 14, 2016 – Burbank, CA)   Toby Emmerich has been named President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, with creative oversight of both Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema, it was announced today by Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros., to whom Emmerich will continue to report.  Concurrent to Emmerich’s promotion, Greg Silverman, who serves as President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, is stepping down to launch an independent production and entrepreneurial ventures company working with Warner Bros.   These changes are effective January 1, 2017.

“Toby is incredibly talented, well-respected and the perfect choice to help us continue the momentum of our film operations,” said Tsujihara.  “He has great relationships across the creative spectrum, from writers and producers to directors and actors.  He’s also got a track-record of producing hit films from all genres at every budget.  I look forward to working with him in his expanded role in our Pictures Group.”

Worldwide marketing and distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures Group releases will continue to be headed by Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution.  She’ll continue to work closely with Emmerich to deliver successful results for all of the Studio’s films.

In his new role, Emmerich will share green-light authority with Tsujihara to determine which projects are ultimately made by Warner Bros. Pictures Group’s production entities.

“I want to thank Kevin for this amazing opportunity,” said Emmerich.  “Between Warner Bros. and New Line, we really do have the most diverse slate in the industry, and we’re having great success in all of the genres in which we’re producing.  Between the two companies, we also have the most creative, most talented executive corps.  I look forward to continuing my partnership with the incredibly talented Sue Kroll, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future.”

Emmerich will also continue to steer Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, the live stage play division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which is bringing a new production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to Broadway in March 2017.

In 2017, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and New Line Cinema’s releases include “The LEGO Batman Movie,” “Fist Fight” (NLC), “Kong: Skull Island,” “Going in Style” (NLC), “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Wonder Woman,” “The House” (NLC), “Dunkirk,” “Annabelle 2” (NLC), “It” (NLC), “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,” “Geostorm” and “Justice League.”

Prior to this promotion, Emmerich served as President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema since 2008; before that, he served as President of Production since 2001.  With Emmerich at the production helm, New Line has released such diverse features as the Academy Award-winning blockbusters “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy; “Wedding Crashers”; “Elf”; “The Notebook”; the “Final Destination” horror franchise; “Hairspray”; “Horrible Bosses 1 and 2”; and  “We’re the Millers.”

Also produced during his tenure were James Wan’s “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2” and its spin-off films, including “Annabelle”; “Tammy” and the upcoming “Life of the Party,” both co-written by and starring Melissa McCarthy; and four films starring Dwayne Johnson, “San Andreas,” “Central Intelligence,” “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and the upcoming “Rampage.”  New Line, under Emmerich’s leadership, reunited with Peter Jackson nearly a decade after “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy to take audiences back to Middle-earth with the acclaimed “The Hobbit” Trilogy, beginning with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which took in more than a billion dollars worldwide, followed by “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” a year later, and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in 2014.

Emmerich joined the New Line in 1992 in a dual role as a development and music executive.

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