Executive shift at Paramount and Fox
Executive shift at Paramount and Fox -- Sherry Lansing, Joe Roth, and Peter Chernin land new studio gigs
Washington, D.C., isn’t the only town changing the guard. In separate developments this month, both Paramount and Fox replaced their top film executives. Here’s a new scorecard:
*Old job: Onetime studio head (Twentieth Century Fox, 1980-’83) and prominent independent producer (Fatal Attraction, School Ties). *New job: As Brandon Tartikoff’s successor atop Paramount Pictures, she’ll report to her former partner, Stanley Jaffe. *What’s ahead: Where Tartikoff emphasized youth-oriented, TV-derived films (Wayne’s World, The Addams Family), Lansing is expected to rely on agency packages, stars, and adult fare. Already being readied is Intersection, a mid-life-crisis drama with Richard Gere. *Bottom line: Lansing won’t control Paramount’s TV division like Tartikoff; the degree of her authority is still unclear.
*Old job: Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox. *New job: Independent producer at Disney. *What he leaves behind: Fox has one sure Christmas hit (Home Alone 2) and three question marks (Hoffa, Toys, and Used People); the studio’s 1993 slate includes the Sean Connery-Wesley Snipes drama, Rising Sun, and Hot Shots 2. *What’s ahead: Roth’s Disney deal (25 films over five years) makes him one of the most powerful in-house producers. *Bottom line: With Barry Diller gone and Rupert Murdoch interfering, Roth left Fox at the right time.
*Old job: President of the Fox Entertainment Group. *New job: Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox, succeeding Roth. *What he leaves behind: Chernin jumps from the Fox network as its attempted expansion to seven nights of programming sputters. *What’s ahead: Speculation is that Chernin will back youth-appeal films and TV adaptations (look for Beverly Hillbillies — The Movie) and make fewer of the arty, low-return dramas (Naked Lunch, Barton Fink) favored by Roth. *Bottom line: Chernin was aggressive and innovative at the Fox network, but Murdoch’s meddling may muzzle him in his new post.