By Jeff Labrecque
Updated April 27, 2012 at 07:23 PM EDT
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Action-film producer Joel Silver will part ways with Warner Bros. when his production deal expires at the end of the year. Silver, who ushered in enormous blockbusters including Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, The Matrix, and Sherlock Holmes, had enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Warner Bros. for more than two and a half decades. But as Deadline details, that bond had frayed in recent years.

Silver’s office deferred to a Warner Bros. spokesperson, who confirmed the impending split. Neither commented on the reason behind it — reportedly Silver’s belief that the studio undermined the release of last December’s Sherlock Holmes sequel, notably by pairing an IMAX prologue of The Dark Knight Rises with the rival Paramount film, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

Silver and Warner Bros. have two films still in the pipeline — The Apparition and Bullet to the Head — but his departure could ultimately have an impact on the future of Sherlock Holmes. Although Game of Shadows didn’t perform as well as the original, it still has Robert Downey Jr. and a library of literature to explore. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. would only say that “plans for a third film are TBD.”

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