×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Weston may head Regency in shakeup

Majority owner Arnon Milchan 'wants to run the company himself'

New Regency is looking to go retro in an exec shakeup that includes the departure of co-chairs Hutch Parker and Bob Harper, the possible installation of former Paramount Pictures production prexy Brad Weston and the return to a more hands-on role for founder and majority owner Arnon Milchan.

Parker and Harper will likely ankle when their contracts expire at the end of 2011, amid talk of differences with Milchan over the company’s direction. In an email to Variety, Parker said Milchan “wants to run the company himself, more the way he did in the early days, which is a significant change from what Bob and I were brought in to do.”

Meanwhile, Milchan is in talks with Weston, who’s been working under a production deal at Par since losing his exec position at the studio to Adam Goodman in 2009. Weston would take the CEO title in replacing Parker and Harper. Weston was widely credited with Paramount’s 2008 slate, including genre pic “Cloverfield,” which brought television vet J.J. Abrams onto the studio lot. Exec also worked at Dimension Films, which produced pics including “Sin City,” “Bad Santa” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” during his tenure.

Sources say the 66-year-old Milchan wants to increase the number of films Regency makes and is seeking more involvement in the company he launched in 1991. The Israeli-born mogul signed the company’s first distribution deal with Fox in 1998 after seven years at Warner Bros., where he produced five to six movies per year including “The Devil’s Advocate,” “A Time to Kill” and “The Client.”

“It’s the right step for him and for us,” Parker wrote. He also said he and Harper will finish up with films they’ve been working on and come on to other projects as producers.

Harper, formerly a longtime Fox exec, has been at the helm of Milchan’s New Regency since 2007; Parker joined him as co-chair in May 2008 after leaving his post as vice chairman of 20th Century Fox Film Group. Since at New Regency, the duo produced close to a dozen pics for the shingle, including “Knight and Day,” “Role Models,” and “Big Momma” franchise reboot “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.”

Regency, in which Fox owns a 20% stake, has yielded a prosperous partnership for the studio. In January, the two companies extended their distribution pact through 2022.

New Regency’s long history, management team and distribution arrangement have appealed to investors as well. The company, with JPMorgan acting as lead bank, recently went into the market to renew its $500 million credit line. Parker said he didn’t think the exec change would affect the acquisition of that credit facility.

New Regency has been a staple on the Fox lot since 1998, when the companies inked a worldwide distrib pact. Since then, Regency has produced 55 films and generated box office of more than $5.3 billion. Harper and Parker’s segue to New Regency cemented the strong ties between the companies, as Harper had logged 22 years as a Fox film exec, while Parker had a 13-year run there.

With such deep ties, news of Harper and Parker’s plan to exit caught the biz by surprise.

In addition to fielding the credit-line renewal, the execs had recently taken steps to expand the company’s scope into TV again with plans to relaunch the Regency Television banner.

Upcoming pics include the Anna Faris-Chris Evans comedy “What’s Your Number?,” to bow this month, followed by “In Time” in October and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” in December. Summit will also unspool New Regency’s “The Darkest Hour” in December. In August, Brad Pitt became attached to Regency drama “The Gray Man” after months of rumored interest.

Last year Regency partnered with Fox on the Ed Zwick-helmed romantic comedy “Love and Other Drugs,” toplined by Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Joker Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Villains Face Off Again as 'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Battle for First Place

    Despite three new nationwide releases, domestic box office charts look to be dominated by holdovers — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — during the last weekend in October. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted last weekend with $36 million in North America, enough to dethrone “Joker” after the super-villain origin story’s back-to-back [...]

  • Yasushi Shiina

    Tokyo Market is Finding New Strengths, Says Yasushi Shiina

    Clouds on the global economic horizon and disruption to the scheduling of the event, have done little to dampen the interest of foreign visitors to TIFFCOM, Japan’s biggest film and TV market. Especially those from China, says market head, Yasushi Shiina. The market is again running at the Sunshine City shopping, entertainment and business complex [...]

  • "Weathering With You" directed by Makoto

    Toho Unveils Dual Media Romance 'Love Me, Love Me Not' at Tokyo Market

    Japan’s biggest film company, which produces, distributes and exhibits its own product in partnership with leading media companies, Toho has brought a line-up to TIFFCOM full of present and future hits. The biggest is “Weathering with You,” the love story animation by Makoto Shinkai that surpassed the $100 million mark only a month after its [...]

  • Hit Me Anyone One More Time

    TIFFCOM: Pony Canyon Saddles up FujiTV's Smash 'Hit Me Anyone'

    One of Japan’s five major broadcast networks, Fuji TV has also been a pioneer and leader among the networks in feature film production. This year at TIFFCOM long-time partner Pony Canyon is representing Fuji TV films that have recently hit number one at the Japanese box office. Among the hottest, with three straight weeks atop [...]

  • Martin Scorsese Avengers

    Are Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola Right About Marvel? (Column)

    If you want to shoot holes in the comments that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola made recently about Marvel movies (Scorsese: “That’s not cinema”; Coppola: “Martin was being kind when he said it wasn’t cinema. He didn’t say it was despicable, which is what I say”), then go right ahead, because they’ve practically handed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content