Friday, August 26, 2016

Moon Shuffle: Management Shifting at DreamWorks Begins

Another day, another set of post-acquisition changes for DreamWorks...

The studio's feature animation co-presidents, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, are now pretty much running DreamWorks Animation, and will be answering to Universal's chairman Donna Langley. The main DreamWorks company president, Ann Daly, after years with the company, is now on her way out. She'll be an advisor during DreamWorks' transition from independent company to Comcast cog.

Deadline points out that one Chris Meledandri was missing from the announcement... He intends to keep focusing on his Illumination, but maybe temporarily. Now a source tells Deadline that Meledandri will indeed have some involvement with the moon boy studio, but won't necessarily run it since things are set in stone with Arnold and Soria. Reports indicate that Universal was very surprised about this, as they seem to really want him to be involved in making DreamWorks a consistent hit-making machine. An NBCUniversal spokeswoman did say, "Now that the deal is closed, we’ll be working with Chris on the most effective path forward for Illumination and DreamWorks Animation."

Perhaps it's for the better. Meledandri already has a lot on his plate maintaining a relatively new animation powerhouse, and perhaps the two veteran women can run things just fine. With that said, it seems like DreamWorks doesn't quite have a new CEO, though I'm sure we'll hear something sooner than later as Katzenberg steps down. Deadline went on to mention that Meledandri most likely won't be involved with the company until after DreamWorks' now-downsized distribution deal with Fox closes next year with the release of Captain Underpants.

Now we shall see what happens next... More shifts? A new schedule? Who knows. The settling in part still has to happen...

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