End of an Era: Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Part Ways

Jerry Bruckheimer TNT Home

The studio and the 'Lone Ranger' producer will not seek to renew a first-look deal when it expires next year

The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer have decided not to renew their first-look deal when it expires next year, ending a relationship that’s been one of Hollywood’s more successful partnerships since the 1990s.

The studio said it will continue to focus on its branded franchise films from the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm banners, while Bruckheimer is looking to produce a slate of “more mature” pics outside the scope of the Disney brand. Translation: there just wasn’t room for Bruckheimer in the Mouse House anymore.

Disney’s move to make films that are franchise friendly for not only the multiplex but also TV, theme parks and Disney’s consumer products division wound up giving Bruckheimer few options for more adult fare that he’s been developing for years. Those projects include an adaptation of Lorenzo Carcaterra’s 1997 novel “Apaches,” about renegade cops in New York City who take the law into their own hands.

Disney and Bruckheimer will continue working together on various projects including the fifth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and a third “National Treasure.”

The film was recently pulled from the summer 2015 release schedule in order to improve the script. A third “National Treasure,” among other projects are still in development at the studio with Bruckheimer’s film banner. The “Pirates” franchise has gone on to earn more than $5.4 billion worldwide for Disney.

The move was announced Thursday evening.

Variety first reported that the prolific producer would meet with Disney beginning next month over whether to renew his current deal. But the decision to end their relationship came sooner than expected. It follows this summer’s disappointing performance of “The Lone Ranger,” which is forcing Disney to write off as much as $190 million in losses.

SEE ALSO: Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer Ready to Discuss Producer’s Future

Together, Disney and Bruckheimer produced major tentpoles like the “Pirates” pics, “Pearl Harbor,” “Armageddon,” “Con Air” and “The Rock,” which were mostly released through the Touchstone label. Touchstone is now used to distribute DreamWorks’ live action films. But Bruckheimer’s films aren’t as successful as they once were, with “Lone Ranger,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” and “G-Force” all pricey stumbles at the worldwide box office.

Still Bruckheimer’s films have earned more than $3.4 billion for Disney at the domestic box office, alone.

“Jerry is one of the most respected and prolific producers working in the motion picture industry, and we have had an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades and he is a friend to many of us here at Disney,” said Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. “We will continue to work together in the future, and we look forward to seeing more of the films that have made Jerry Bruckheimer a Hollywood legend.”

Bruckheimer already had been setting up several projects elsewhere.

He has another “Bad Boys” in development at Sony, where he made “Black Hawk Down,” and Sony’s Screen Gems will release his Eric Bana thriller “Beware the Night.” He also is developing a “Top Gun” sequel at Paramount and is likely to come aboard the studio’s next “Beverly Hills Cop,” the fourth installment in that franchise.

“I am very appreciative of the wonderful collaboration and support I have had at the Walt Disney Company for over twenty years and the 27 movies we have made together,” Bruckheimer said. “The good news is we will continue working together on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘National Treasure’ and other projects we have developed together at the studio. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with these amazing people at The Walt Disney Studios, many of whom have become my good friends. As we continue to make adventure films, we look forward to returning to films like ‘Black Hawk Down,’ ‘Enemy of the State,’ ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ and ‘The Rock.’”

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  1. vincent says:

    the movies mentioned here are kinda mediocre. the ones i rly enjoy are the pirates and national treasure movies. con air wasn’t bad too

  2. TJ says:

    Looks good for 70!

  3. Philip Zamora says:

    I’m really excited to see what Bruckheimer is able to do now that he isn’t with Disney. His best films were made with Paramount and Sony, so this news isn’t all that bad.

  4. aptitude says:

    The man is 70 years old! The sky is not falling!

  5. Johnny Blaze says:

    The hacks at Marvel Studios make them enough. They simply don’t need Jerry Hackheimer sticking around anymore.

  6. Bay says:

    This is great news although not so great that they’re still going ahead with another Caribbean movie. About time Bruckheimer got away from Disney because he made better movies before being with Disney.

  7. moviefanatic says:

    Even though there is the bad news that Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have parted ways(which is a bad move on Disney’s part, I am very excited to have found out that Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are still going to make National Treasure 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales together ! :) .

  8. Silvana says:

    Harvey Weinstein must realise The Immigrant this year to Marion Cotillard’s amazing performance arrives at Oscar

  9. Xmasevebaby says:

    Had Bruckheimer made a Lone Ranger movie with half of the reported $215 million budget, he’d probably still have a shingle hanging from the Disney lot. Instead, he allowed ego and bad decisions to cloud his judgment.

  10. Cody Fairless-Lee says:

    Varirty, are you guys nuts? G-FORCE did not stumble at the box-office….it was a hit!!!!

  11. Chris Riley says:

    This movie is a great example of how Treason, Government and Corporations work together only to benefit a few. Sure Disney was upset about it.
    Watch the movie. You be the Judge. Very people who don’t want this known are the ones who have control of major media to say it was not a good movie.
    I actually found it, historically correct.

  12. JOE S HILL says:

    Disney just seems to think that by losing Bruckheimer,because of “THE LONE RANGER” failure,that
    they’ll be better off,,which sure goes to show you loyalty! this man has made some of the finest action adventure movies for their Touchstone division(“CON-AIR” being among my favorites) and they part
    ways,after the failing of The Lone Ranger? it is sheer stupidity on Disney’s part,,but then,they don’t
    have a worry in the world anymore,with Marvel and Lucasfilm in their ownership,and Bruckheimer is
    discarded like yesterday’s trash! he’ll do fine without Disney! he’s already got rooted at Warner Bros.
    TV and CBS,especially with his upcoming “HOSTAGES” drama,but “COLD CASE” and “CSI” sure put
    this man on the map,,and i have a great feeling that some other studio will pick him up. i think he’d do
    great at MGM/UA,depending on how Gary Barber sees this-but otherwise,Jerry Bruckheimer’s track
    record speaks quite loudly-and successfully,,and he’ll be okay! Disney on the other hand,will also do
    well,,but their two faced politics also proves what they are,,!@#holes! they lost millions on this,and
    “JOHN CARTER”,,but hit it rich in the Billions with “THE AVENGERS” last year,,and they still could’ve
    used Bruckheimer,because the man is a valuble asset,,but not in the eyes of Disney,,what really is?!

  13. Chris Riley says:

    it was a good movie. Brought the real story of the Rothschild. Sure it got bad publicity because it was so true.

  14. Tim S. says:

    Every few years a niche must open for a fictional ‘found footage’ film like,”The Blair Witch Project” or “La Jetee”.

  15. occultology says:

    It’s great to know that Bruckheimer’s mediocre snoozefests will continue to be zygoted into manifestation by other desperate Hollywood studios.

  16. Samuel says:

    God exists!

  17. My2sense says:

    Who gives a crap? Bruckheimer has never made a watchable movie. Let’s face it, they’re all boring crap. He’s the luckiest man alive — one among many in Hollywood.

    • sab says:

      Exactly. People are looking forward to another National Treasure? Bad Boys? Pirates of the Caribbean? The Rock…REALLY??? All craptastic as far as I’m concerned. I’d watch a Jerry Bruckheimer tv show before I’d submit myself to one of these franchises. And even then I’d hate myself for watching especially now that cable offers a lot more viable options. He will be just fine. Disney will be fine and all the little minions that watch this stuff will continue to fatten the pockets of these people.

      • Frank W says:

        I love history and National Treasure made history fun. The second one less so, but Id see a third, if just for Diane Kruger.

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