Thursday, February 28, 2008

R.I.P., NEW LINE CINEMA

Holy Crap! 40-year-old New Line Cinema, the studio that has given us spectacular films such as "Lord of the Rings" (and more than a few unspectacular ones, too) is no more. Warner Bros., who acquired it a few years back, today announced they were absorbing New Line into its vast corporate bloat. New Line as a separate studio will cease to exist, and the New Line label will only be used for urban, horror and genre pictures, hearkening back to NL's early days.

Approximately 600 New Line staffers are jobless.

This is stunningly bad news on many levels. Firstly, the continued media consolidation means less buyers, which means less chances to sell spec scripts, less films being developed, less chance of real cutting-edge filmmaking taking place. And then there's the job losses -- with this announcement, a huge chunk of the town is now out of work; projects that were in development there (and there are many) are likely to go into turnaround, which means, hot on the heels of the writers' strike, yet again a lot of wordsmiths will be unemployed. It means less income for agents and managers and simply makes it even tougher, period, to break in.

And the dreaded big media consolidation machine rolls on.

The only bright spot here is that certainly some NL executives will start new companies, and as happened with the Weinsteins leaving Miramax, phoenixes do emerge from the ashes. But for now, this just flat-out sucks.

Variety has the scoop HERE.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

iT'S A BUMMER, BUT THE TRUTH IS nEW lINE HAS SUCKED FOR A LONG TIME. GOING BACK HISTORICALLY THEY HAVE BY FAR THE WORST TRACK RECORD OF ANY STUDIO. THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES WERE OVERLONG AND OVERRATED IN MY OPINION ALTHOUGH THE PRODUCTION VALUE WAS AMAZING. IF I WAS WARNER BROS I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING.

Bisco said...

All those guys will land somewhere. They'll probably get nice severance packages and have been sending out resumes for months.