×

Dana Brunetti Negotiating Exit as President of Relativity Media

UPDATED: Dana Brunetti is in the midst of negotiating his exit as president of Relativity Media after another rocky year for Ryan Kavanaugh’s production-distribution venture.

Brunetti is understood to be lining up a new venture that will allow him to return to a hands-on producer role once his entanglement with Relativity is sorted out. The producer behind “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “The Social Network,” and other notable features has been frustrated during the past year that the money and resources promised to him by Relativity Media chief Kavanaugh, who is stepping down from the company according to several reports, never materialized.

Brunetti declined to comment on Wednesday.

Brunetti and his former producing partner Kevin Spacey shocked the biz in October 2015 when they began discussions with Kavanaugh to join the new-model Relativity as it was emerging from bankruptcy proceedings. Spacey was to have served as chairman, but the actor took himself out of the mix in March, citing his busy work schedule.

Brunetti had hoped to build on the ashes of the old Relativity. But the company has lurched around from one financial crisis to another during the past year while still facing legal wrangling with past creditors and partners such as Netflix.

By multiple accounts, Brunetti washed his hands of Relativity’s business several weeks ago. He’s been focused on extricating himself from the company in the hopes of hitting the ground running early next year with new business prospects.

After initially not commenting on the report of Brunetti shift, a Relativity spokesperson said in a statement that Brunetti had “transitioned to a production deal with Relativity,” and denied he had any disagreement with Kavanaugh. The statement made it sound as if Brunetti would have an ongoing relationship with Relativity, saying his “greatest value add to the company is to make the movies he wants to, giving him flexibility to make the films he enjoys.”

The statement also said that Brunetti remained a “large shareholder” of Relativity  and added that Brett Dahl had taken over the role of president of production.

Though it formally emerged from Chapter 11 status in April, Kavanaugh’s mini-studio had trouble gaining the kind of investment it needed to make new films. The company had shed its television division, its for-profit entertainment school, and both a sports and fashion agency during the bankruptcy.

Relativity’s ongoing struggles were thrown into focus in the last week when it was revealed that the company, already greatly down-sized, had to lay off about six more workers. It was also feuding with EuropaCorp, its partner in a distribution joint venture, over a failure to pay its bills. And on Monday, several sources said employees were told they would not be paid during the company’s two-week holiday break.

Relativity said through a spokesperson that the report about the holiday furlough was “incorrect,” though it did not specify exactly how.

James Rainey contributed to this report.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    'The Report' Trailer: Adam Driver Investigates Post-9/11 Interrogation Tactics

    Adam Driver is in pursuit of the truth in Amazon Studio’s first look at “The Report,” a tense political drama about the CIA’s use of torture. The film focuses on Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Driver), who begins to investigate the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, a group created in the aftermath of 9/11. As he [...]

  • Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Personal History

    Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Personal History of David Copperfield'

    Fox Searchlight has acquired North American rights to “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” Armando Iannucci’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. The deal comes in advance of the film’s Toronto International Film Festival bow on Sept. 5, as well as its BFI London Film Festival premiere on Oct. 2. The studio [...]

  • on day 3 of the London

    Barbara Broccoli, Richard Curtis, Passion Pictures Team on Paralympics Documentary

    Oscar-winning British production company Passion Pictures is teaming up with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and filmmaker Richard Curtis on a new feature documentary about the Paralympic Games. The project, currently titled “Harder Than You Think,” brings together Passion’s John Battsek with producer Greg Nugent of HTYT Films, with Broccoli and Curtis both serving as [...]

  • Tribeca Film Insitute's PitchNY Program Now

    Tribeca Film Institute's PitchNY Program Kicks Off (EXCLUSIVE)

    College students and recent alumni in New York can apply to the 4th annual PitchNY program, an effort to help young, diverse directors, producers and writers fine-tune their pitching skills, as well as to connect them with entertainment industry professionals who will serve as mentors. On Thursday, Tribeca Film Institute, The New York State Governor’s [...]

  • La-camarista

    ‘The Chambermaid’ Cleans Up in the U.S.

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Call it the “Roma” effect but Mexican newcomer Lila Aviles’ engaging portrait of a hotel servant, “The Chambermaid” (“La Camarista”) has found outstanding reception in the U.S. and in multiple territories, giving hope to other arthouse films from Latin America and elsewhere that seek distribution in “fortress America.” “‘Roma’ was a beautiful, brawny and [...]

  • Beograd 20.03.2012 Milutin Petrovic, reditelj, scenarista,

    Lost Script by ABC Studios Editor Turned Into Movie and Series 'Bad Blood'

    An ambitious new Serbian feature film and 10-part television series set in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century has emerged from a long lost script by a former editor at ABC Studios in New York City. Belgrade-based This and That Productions is producing “Bad Blood,” based on the works of renowned Serbian writer Borisav [...]

  • Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power, Responsibility of Cinema to ‘Provoke’

    Gael García Bernal said acting for the likes of Oscar winners Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón helped groom him for the director’s chair and praised cinema as “the only medium” that allows artists to “explore the gray areas” in unparalleled ways. “The world is so full of certainties now, and cinema is the one that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content