DreamWorks head of production Michael De Luca will be stepping down in June, the studio announced Friday. Production exec Adam Goodman will take his place.
Under the new arrangement, DreamWorks Pictures heads Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will once again oversee day-to-day operations of the film division, a role they relinquished when De Luca came on board in 2001.
Senior production execs Marc Haimes and Mark Sourian will also be given more visible roles.
De Luca’s exit was expected, as it was widely known that the exec’s contract expires in June. Goodman’s promotion was also anticipated.
Goodman has been a production exec at DreamWorks since 1996. He is shepherding upcoming films such as “The Terminal,” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks; “Anchorman,” with Will Ferrell; and “Surviving Christmas,” starring Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate.
Of the new prexy, MacDonald said, “Steven (Spielberg), Jeffrey (Katzenberg), Walter and I have worked closely with Adam Goodman for eight years, and we believe he is more than ready to take this next step at DreamWorks. He has a great eye for material, as well as talent, and he has our complete confidence as we look ahead to the start of our second decade at DreamWorks.”
Suggesting more of a partnership atop DreamWorks, she also said, “No one could have come in with more combined experience than Adam, Marc and Mark, and certainly no one could match their commitment to the future of this studio.”
De Luca is said to be in talks for a producing gig with various studios, including Warner Bros. and Universal. MGM is rumored to have offered him a position as a production exec.
Of De Luca, Parkes said, “Michael has been an extremely positive force at DreamWorks. He is an extraordinary creative executive and a wonderful collaborator, and we appreciate the contributions he has made to the studio during the past 2½ years.”
De Luca arrived at DreamWorks in 2001 after he was fired from New Line, where he cut his teeth and worked for 16 years (seven as production prexy), overseeing such hits as “Austin Powers 2,” “Rush Hour” and “Boogie Nights.”
He was hired ostensibly to fire up DreamWorks’ production slate and because of his reputation for having edgy taste.
Yet despite 2002 hits such as “Catch Me if You Can” and “The Ring,” 2003 was a writeoff year for the studio.