MGM’s longtime motion picture group head Jonathan Glickman is being replaced with prolific movie producer Michael De Luca, in the latest shakeup for the studio known for the James Bond franchise.
Glickman, who has led film development and production for eight years at the Beverly Hills-based company, will leave his post Feb. 1 for a production deal with the studio, according to an email sent to staff by MGM’s board of directors.
The company did not say why Glickman was being replaced.
“It’s been a great honor to have overseen MGM’s film division’s revival over the past eight years,” said Glickman in a statement provided by the studio. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work on movies that I love, with some of the most talented filmmakers in the world, and with colleagues that consistently inspired me.”
Glickman’s departure and De Luca’s appointment mark another surprise leadership change for MGM, which has been working to rebuild itself since its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2010.
In March 2018, the board unexpectedly ousted Chief Executive Gary Barber amid a disagreement with the company’s board of directors over the future of the studio. Barber was said to be interested in finding a buyer for MGM, whereas the board, led by Chairman Kevin Ulrich, wanted to keep building the business independently. Ulrich is CEO of investment firm Anchorage Capital Group, which is one of MGM’s major shareholders.
The company has since been run by a consortium of executives, including TV producer Mark Burnett. Glickman was a close associate of Barber’s; The two previously ran Spyglass Entertainment.
During Glickman’s tenure, the studio has produced films such as the James Bond movie"Skyfall,” the “Rocky” follow-up “Creed” and, recently, the “Addams Family” animated film. His first priority now, according to the company, will be to oversee the completion of “No Time to Die,” the 25th James Bond film, which is set for release in April. His initial project as a producer with MGM will be the Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported Glickman’s expected exit.
De Luca will hold the title of Chairman of MGM Motion Picture Group, whereas Glickman’s title was president of the division. De Luca will report directly to MGM’s board of directors.
In De Luca, MGM is bringing in an experienced and respected figure in Hollywood. A former studio executive at Sony Pictures, DreamWorks and New Line Cinema, De Luca earned best picture nominations for producing “Captain Phillips,” “Moneyball” and “The Social Network.” He is also known for producing the blockbuster “Fifty Shades of Grey” films.
At Sony, De Luca served as president of production for Columbia Pictures, and lived through the notorious 2014 hack of the Culver City company’s computer systems, including its email databases. He left for a production deal at Universal Pictures in 2015. He also co-produced the 2017 and 2018 Academy Awards.
“MGM is a revered label within the film industry with a long, rich history, and I could not be any prouder to join this studio as we head into the year 2020,” De Luca said in a statement.
MGM is handling the U.S. release of “No Time to Die,” while Universal Pictures is distributing the film internationally. MGM’s upcoming releases also include horror sequel “Candyman,” produced and written by Jordan Peele (“Us”).