Plans To Launch New Production Company at Studio
Longtime studio executive Toby Emmerich has announced that he is stepping down as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group and will launch his own production company at the studio, focused on film, television and streaming. As part of an exclusive 5-year agreement, Warner Bros. Discovery will finance Emmerich’s venture and have distribution rights to films and series.
An accomplished screenwriter and producer, Emmerich has led Warner Bros. Pictures Group since 2017, previously serving as President and Chief Content Officer, and before that as President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema. He is a 30-year veteran of Warner Bros. having joined the company in 1992 as a dual development and music executive.
“I have known Toby for many years and have tremendous respect for his vision and ability to create extraordinary cinematic experiences. He has led a best-in-class studio team and was the driving force behind an incredible, diverse collection of films and series. Toby is also an exceptional person and longtime friend to me and to many and I am personally very happy to continue our working relationship,” said David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery. “I am thrilled that he’s chosen to remain a part of our Warner Bros. Discovery family with this long-term production deal and look forward to seeing the fantastic stories that he and his team will create for us in the years ahead.”
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of this storied company these last three decades and to lead the world-class Warner Bros. film studio team, and I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish together,” said Emmerich. “This seemed like the perfect time to transition to something new and I am excited to be pursuing my passion for storytelling in a more hands-on way with my own production company.”
Under Emmerich’s leadership, Warner Bros. Pictures Group had its most successful year ever in 2018, with a global box office of $5.57 billion. This success was fueled by a diverse lineup of hit films, including “Aquaman”—the most successful DC Superhero film ever and Warner Bros.’ second-biggest title of all time, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Ready Player One,” “The Meg,” “Rampage,” “A Star is Born,” “The Nun,” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” In 2019, the Studio released the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, DC’s “Joker,” which earned $1.08 billion at the global box office and won two Academy Awards, as well as the hugely successful horror sequel “IT Chapter Two.”
Previously, Emmerich served as President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema. Under his leadership, New Line released such diverse features as the Academy Award-winning blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” the acclaimed “The Hobbit” trilogy, which earned almost $3 billion worldwide, the perennial holiday classic “Elf,” the romantic favorite “The Notebook,” the action thriller “San Andreas,” comedy hits “Wedding Crashers,” “Horrible Bosses,” and “We’re the Millers,” as well as multiple films in “The Conjuring” universe, which is the most successful horror franchise of all time at $2.01 billion in worldwide box office and counting.
In 2019, Emmerich was honored with the Producers Guild of America’s Milestone Award, which recognizes an individual or team who has made historical contributions to the entertainment industry.