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  • The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

    The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount


    John Marshall Mantel / AP

    David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg appear to have experienced some difficulty adjusting to the move of DreamWorks SKG's live-action studio to Viacom.


    The director and his DreamWorks partners are likely to bolt from the studio next year.
    By Claudia Eller
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    2:54 PM PDT, September 20, 2007

    Less than two years after director Steven Spielberg and his partners sold DreamWorks SKG to Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures for $1.6 billion, a divorce seems inevitable.

    Spielberg and partner David Geffen have felt slighted that they haven't gotten more autonomy and credit within Viacom given the success of their movies this summer. Recent box office hits such as "Transformers" and "Blades of Glory" have lifted Paramount out of the doldrums and heightened resentment between the DreamWorks founders and their owners, tension that has been mounting since the deal was completed 19 months ago.

    Smarting from sellers' remorse, the DreamWorks principals are expected to bolt as soon as they are free to late next year. Already, Geffen has been telling people in Hollywood that he and Spielberg plan to look for a new financial backer and studio home.

    But any breakup is sure to be messy. Not only is Spielberg knee-deep in a number of major movie productions at the Melrose Avenue studio, he and his partners would be forced to leave behind hundreds of development projects and key executives at DreamWorks as well as those they installed in senior positions at Paramount .

    Their departure would lead to an even more bitter rivalry between Paramount and DreamWorks as the two camps would then compete head to head for projects, talent and consumer dollars.

    The question for Paramount then becomes whether the studio got its money worth from the expensive bet it made when it bought the 11-year-old live-action studio from Spielberg, Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. How much value do the remains of DreamWorks have to Paramount without the talents of the self-described "Dream Team"?

    Top Paramount executives say the acquisition will more than pay for itself.

    "The deal for us has been highly profitable and is ahead of schedule," Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey said in an interview today. "It would always be better to have Steven and DreamWorks with us, but of course we'll be OK" if they leave.

    Grey acknowledged that the DreamWorks deal "really accelerated our turnaround."

    Spielberg, Geffen may walk - Variety 7/22/07
    http://www.micechat.com/forums/geffe...fen+dreamworks
    Last edited by ALIASd; 11-12-2007, 05:02 PM. Reason: sp
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

    Yah I heard something like this months ago. Spielberg wasn't happy about the move and I think things would be incredibly good if Universal picked up the bill and bought Dreamworks. In fact, Spielberg's Dreamworks office is STILL on the Universal backlot. He likes it there and would probably want to stay.

    Universal could have had Transformers in their theme parks and wow, that would be another hot property to add to Harry Potter.


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    • #3
      Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

      this is the problem when companies get bought out and merge.

      Luckily Bob Iger was smart enough to put Pixars people in charge of both Disney and Pixar to maintain quality across the board.

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      • #4
        Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

        Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
        Yah I heard something like this months ago. Spielberg wasn't happy about the move and I think things would be incredibly good if Universal picked up the bill and bought Dreamworks. In fact, Spielberg's Dreamworks office is STILL on the Universal backlot. He likes it there and would probably want to stay.

        Universal could have had Transformers in their theme parks and wow, that would be another hot property to add to Harry Potter.
        Transformers is a joint production between Dreamworks and Paramount, so it is not that simple. It could cause trouble for a sequel to this year's film, if dreamworks leaves. Hasbro could give the license to Dreamworks in whole but they would have do something different than the Paramount/Dreamworks version.

        I wonder if Iger could get Steven to let him give the other 50% ownership of Roger Rabbit, if he lets Steven run Touchstone. Hmmm.
        Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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        • #5
          Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

          ^^ Monkey Boy, I think Coheteboy was just wishing that Universal had bought DreamWorks to begin with instead of Paramount (which would have been Spielberg's preference). But now, even if Spielberg leaves, DreamWorks will stay at Paramount along with all of its associated properties. DreamWorks belongs to Paramount, but Spielberg (and David Geffen) does not. Katzenberg is a different story. He's still the man in charge at DreamWorks Animation (which is separate from the rest of DW) and I don't think he has any reason to leave.

          For Paramount, this is a colossally bone-headed move. And the comparison to Disney's acquisition of Pixar is a good one. When Disney bought Pixar, Iger wasn't just buying the studio, he was buying the talent and he clearly recognized that. He immediately put Lasseter and Catmull in charge of WDFA and gave Lasseter a role in WDI.

          Compare to Paramount. They pulled off a huge surprise, snatching DW away from Universal and they now have the most powerful and influential living filmmaker in the world. So what do they do? They keep DW segregated from the rest of Paramount and make them feel like a second-fiddle when DW productions have driven all of Paramount's success this year. Why would you purposely alienate and piss-off Spielberg? That's just crazy.

          I think its easy to predict that Spielberg will set up shop at Universal (he has alot of affection for the studio) and use his Amblin shingle. I don't think he has any interest in actually "running" a studio (that was part of DreamWorks' downfall to begin with) and prefers to just make movies. But I do hope that he and Disney can kiss-and-makeup over Roger Rabbit.
          "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
          --John Lasseter

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          • #6
            Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

            Originally posted by Doopey1 View Post
            Compare to Paramount. They pulled off a huge surprise, snatching DW away from Universal and they now have the most powerful and influential living filmmaker in the world. So what do they do? They keep DW segregated from the rest of Paramount and make them feel like a second-fiddle when DW productions have driven all of Paramount's success this year. Why would you purposely alienate and piss-off Spielberg? That's just crazy.
            And the thing is, it isn't just Paramount... It is all of Viacom! Talk about a disfunctional company that keeps shooting itself in the foot... Of course DW is unhappy, they sold it to a company that is in a constant state of dismantling itself making it imposable to promote it's existing properies and francises effectively... This uber chairman, Summer Redstone, is a rich idiot that pritty much wants to cash out his ownership rather than innovating moving ahead of the game... It's simply shamefull.
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            • #7
              Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

              Boy is that gonna be big fun promoting and distributing the new 'Indy' next year at Paramount!
              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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              • #8
                Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                Disney should buy some Amblin assets: Roger Rabbit and their Zorro film rights.

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                • #9
                  Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                  Originally posted by ALIASd View Post
                  Boy is that gonna be big fun promoting and distributing the new 'Indy' next year at Paramount!
                  Yep, but it is a Lucasfilm film.
                  Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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                  • #10
                    Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                    Originally posted by Monkey joe View Post
                    Yep, but it is a Lucasfilm film.
                    While true, the real heavy lifting of selling and moving the film won't be done in San Francisco, it'll be done at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.
                    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                    • #11
                      Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                      Originally posted by Monkey joe View Post
                      Yep, but it is a Lucasfilm film.
                      But the net result is still Spielberg delivering another blockbuster for Paramount. I'm sure that irks Spielberg on some level, as much as he may love Lucas and the Indy franchise.

                      (Unless this deal is similar to the one Lucas made with Fox for the Star Wars prequels, wherein Fox only rec'd a fee for distributing and marketing the films and Lucasfilm rec'd all of the profits.)
                      Last edited by Doopey1; 09-21-2007, 01:26 PM.
                      "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
                      --John Lasseter

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                      • #12
                        Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                        Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                        Disney should buy some Amblin assets: Roger Rabbit and their Zorro film rights.

                        I don't see Spielberg wanting to part with either one. My best wish is that if Disney does a great job impressing Lucas with what they do for Indy and Star Wars in the months/years ahead, it will rub off on Spielberg and lead to some new Roger Rabbit projects. Since Lasseter is reviving the animated shorts, I would love for them to produce some new Roger shorts to re-establish the character....
                        "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
                        --John Lasseter

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                        • #13
                          Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                          It would be fun to have Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Roger Rabbit
                          on the screen together, if only for 30 seconds.
                          Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
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                          • #14
                            Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                            Originally posted by Doopey1 View Post
                            I don't see Spielberg wanting to part with either one. My best wish is that if Disney does a great job impressing Lucas with what they do for Indy and Star Wars in the months/years ahead, it will rub off on Spielberg and lead to some new Roger Rabbit projects. Since Lasseter is reviving the animated shorts, I would love for them to produce some new Roger shorts to re-establish the character....
                            I could see him part with Roger if he given enough money. Disney could always welcome to their studios instead. It is an Eisner free zone now. lol.
                            Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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                            • #15
                              Re: The dream appears over for Spielberg and Paramount

                              Originally posted by Doopey1 View Post
                              I don't see Spielberg wanting to part with either one. My best wish is that if Disney does a great job impressing Lucas with what they do for Indy and Star Wars in the months/years ahead, it will rub off on Spielberg and lead to some new Roger Rabbit projects. Since Lasseter is reviving the animated shorts, I would love for them to produce some new Roger shorts to re-establish the character....
                              Its more likely that anything having to do w/ Roger Rabbit back on the Disney lot would have more to do with his old pal Robert Zemeckis doing business with Disney again.

                              Zemeckis, Rapke, Starkey go 3-D

                              Trio partner with Disney for new film co.

                              http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...emeckis+disney
                              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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