Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of blockbusters from “Pirates of the Caribbean” to “Top Gun,” has all but closed a deal to make movies for Paramount when his deal at Disney expires next year, according to three individuals with knowledge of the negotiations.
One insider said the deal is “getting close” and that the studio expects it will be wrapped up within a week. “They are inching their way there,” the insider told TheWrap.
Paramount declined to comment on the matter. A spokesman for Bruckheimer was travelling and did not respond to request for comment.
Bruckheimer is one of the most successful producers in Hollywood history, and he made many of his earliest hits, including “Top Gun,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Flashdance” for Paramount.
He moved to Disney in the 1990s where he had a first-look deal for almost two decades. He continued to make blockbuster films there that took in billions of dollars for the studio including action hits “Con Air” and “The Rock” and “National Treasure.” His most successful franchise for the studio was the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, taking in a total of $3.7 billion at the global box office.
However, fissures opened as Disney acquired brands such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Bruckheimer’s expensive, adult-skewing action movies no longer had a place at the studio, which was more interested in brands tied to characters than producers.
Disney had already contemplated changes to Bruckheimer’s deal after the failure of “The Sorcercer’s Apprentice” and “G-Force,” and the official decision to part ways when his deal expires in March came after Bruckheimer’s latest effort, “The Lone Ranger,” forced the studio to take a massive write-down.
Bruckheimer is still making another “Pirates” for the studio, but that movie has been delayed and writers are still working on the script.
He would fit right in at Paramount, which already distributes the lavish productions of Michael Bay, J.J. Abrams and Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Bay and Bruckheimer worked together on “The Rock,” “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor.” Bruckheimer brings his close relationship with Johnny Depp to the studio.
Paramount is also in the process of building a television division under the stewardship of Amy Powell. Though best known for his film work, Bruckheimer had produced hit TV shows “The Amazing Race,” “Without a Trace” and “CSI,” along with its spin-offs.
Bruckheimer still holds a deal at Warner Bros. television, but his film talents are headed to Paramount’s Hollywood lot.
Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.