Sony’s candidate to replace Amy Pascal as co-chair of Sony Pictures is almost sure to come from inside the company, insiders say, since there are already several executives on the Culver City lot with experience running studios.
Here are the top insiders in line for the position — and who isn’t likely to get the job.
Doug Belgrad: The Columbia Pictures president likely has the inside edge. He’s popular on Sony’s lot, has a firm grasp of finances as well as a talent for keeping budgets in check — not one of Pascal’s strengths. He’s been at Sony since 1989 and developed the “Men in Black” franchise and Adam Sandler’s pictures; he also teamed with MGM on the James Bond series, including “Skyfall.”
Tom Rothman: The current head of TriStar Pictures, who joined in mid-2013, was co-chairman and CEO of Fox and founded Fox Searchlight in 1994. He is the only Sony insider who has run one of Hollywood’s major studios. But he has detractors in Hollywood for his brash management style and sometimes-tense relationships with talent.
Michael De Luca: The current production president of Columbia Pictures, named in late 2013, has deep relationships with talent and produced “The Social Network” and “Moneyball” at the studio before he joined the executive track. Unlike Belgrad, he’s a virtual newcomer to Sony and doesn’t have the same kind of institutional knowledge of the studio. He’s also a producer on “Fifty Shades of Grey” outside of the Sony umbrella. While head of production at New Line, he shepherded several successful franchises such as “Austin Powers” and “Rush Hour.”
Jeff Robinov: He’s also on the lot with his Studio 8, which launched in 2014, and offers big studio experience, having overseen Warner Bros.’ film division for several years. However, he likely can’t replace Pascal since he has made commitments to his investors, a group that includes Shanghai-based Fosun International, that would make it difficult for him to abandon his new production company. Studio 8 is an independent entity with plans to make 24 films over five years.