Just as the longtime studio executive announced that he was stepping down as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Toby Emmerich has revealed that he is to launch his own production company at the studio, focused on film, television and streaming.
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.
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 was fuelled by a 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.
New Line released features as the Academy Award-winning blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; The Hobbit trilogy; holiday classic Elf; the romantic favourite The Notebook; action thriller San Andreas; and comedy hits Wedding Crashers, Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers.
Commenting on his new venture, Emmerich said: “It has been an honour 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. 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.”
As part of an exclusive five-year agreement, Warner Bros. Discovery will finance Emmerich’s venture and have distribution rights to films and series.
“I have known Toby for many years and have tremendous respect for his vision and ability to create extraordinary cinematic experiences…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.”