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Michael De Luca to Replace Jonathan Glickman at MGM

Jonathan Glickman Out at MGM
Rex/Shutterstock

MGM film president Jonathan Glickman is stepping down from the post he has held for eight years, Variety has confirmed.

Michael De Luca, the Oscar-nominated producer of “The Social Network” and a former executive at Sony and New Line, will succeed Glickman in the newly created role of chairman of MGM’s Motion Picture Group. As head of global film operations, De Luca’s responsibilities include oversight of development, production, marketing and distribution of MGM’s film slate, including Orion Pictures, in addition to overseeing MGM’s on-stage production division.

The three-time Oscar-nominated producer begins his new gig sometime this year and will report to MGM’s board of directors.

“It is rare to find an executive who is as experienced and respected inside the studio system as well as in the filmmaking community. Mike’s incredible passion for the industry guides all that he does,” MGM’s chairman of the board Kevin Ulrich said. “Over the course of his groundbreaking career he has developed exceptional relationships. He has helped launch the careers of some of the industry’s most important talent while overseeing critically acclaimed films and franchises, including ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Austin Powers,’ ‘Rush Hour,’ ‘Moneyball’ and ‘The Social Network.’ We are looking forward to Mike taking the reins of MGM’s Motion Picture Group and using his unique talents to grow the renowned MGM library.”

Glickman has been given a first-look producing agreement with MGM, which will kick off with the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.”

Glickman joined MGM in 2011, part of a newly instituted leadership that saw the studio emerge from bankruptcy under the leadership of Spyglass Entertainment chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. Barber was pushed out of the studio in 2018 over a larger debate about whether or not to grow MGM or sell it. Birnbaum left the company in 2012 to return to producing.

Glickman is exiting the company as the studio prepares for the April release of “No Time to Die,” the hotly anticipated James Bond adventure that will conclude Daniel Craig’s run as 007. It’s unclear if his exit is voluntary. One insider close to MGM’s joint distribution venture United Artists Releasing said many in the MGM offices felt the writing was on the wall for Glickman after the abrupt departure of Barber, depriving him of a key mentor and ally.

In a statement accompanying the official announcement of his exit, Glickman said, “It’s been a great honor to have overseen MGM’s film division’s revival over the past eight years. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work on movies that I love, with some of the most talented filmmakers in the world, and with colleagues that consistently inspired me.”

At MGM, Glickman also led the company’s live stage operations. On the film front, he scored with “Creed,” a spinoff to the “Rocky” franchise,” and had modest hits with “Fighting With My Family,” and the reboots of “Child’s Play” and “The Addams Family.” He suffered some box office setbacks, however, with the likes of “Death Wish,” “Ben-Hur” and “The Sun Is Also a Star.” Glickman oversaw the establishment of United Artists Releasing, a joint venture that pooled distribution resources with indie studio Annapurna.

Here’s the full text of the memo that MGM’s board of directors sent staff:

Dear Team MGM, 

We wanted to share some important news. After an eight-year tenure as President of the Motion Picture Group, Jonathan Glickman will be segueing to a first-look producing agreement with MGM effective February 1. Jonathan’s first priority will be to oversee the completion of EON’s 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, that is set for release this April. His first project as a producer with MGM will commence with the Aretha Franklin biopic,Respect.   

As many of you know, Glickman joined MGM in 2011. Working in close collaboration with Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, MGM released Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, which at $1.1B, is the highest grossing film in the 007 franchise, as well as its follow-up, Spectre. Glickman also brought together MGM and Chartoff-Winkler’s Rocky franchise for a new take with Ryan Coogler’s commercial and critically successfulCreed, and its sequel. During his tenure, MGM relaunched the classic MGM brand, Orion Pictures, which was revived as a genre and targeted audience label.  

In a personal message to the company, Glickman stated: “It’s been a great honor to have overseen MGM’s film division’s revival over the past eight years. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work on movies that I love, with some of the most talented filmmakers in the world, and with colleagues that consistently inspired me. I am extremely enthusiastic about our 2020 slate, I can think of no better way to conclude this studio run than a third Bond film with Michael, Barbara, Daniel, Cary and company on No Time to Die. I’m excited to return full-time to my first professional passion – producing entertaining and compelling films – while continuing to collaborate with the brilliant MGM team.”

In addition to the Creed and Bond franchises, the Motion Picture Group’s highlights include 2019’sThe Addams Family, which has earned nearly $200M WW and was the top non-sequel animated film of the year; the sleeper romance Me Before You, which earned $205M, Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander, which earned $275M globally; andThe Magnificent Seven starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. Glickman’s tenure was represented by balancing the key MGM franchise relationships while bringing new filmmakers and talent to the studio such as Ryan Coogler, Cary Fukunaga, Michael B. Jordan, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jordan Peele, who wrote and produced this summer’s Candyman. Of note, 26.6% of the directors hired during Glickman’s tenure for MGM productions were female (well above the industry average at 6-9% during the same period), including the upcoming 2020 releases Candyman directed by Nia DaCosta and Respect directed by Liesl Tommy.

I know you will join us in thanking Jonathan for his passion and commitment and wish him well as he enters this next chapter of his career.

MGM’s Board of Directors