Following on from news we heard earlier this year, in which Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney parted ways following the release of The Lone Ranger, we heard over the weekend that Bruckheimer is closing a three-year first-look deal with Paramount.
Deadline reports that Bruckheimer will enjoy a lot more freedom with the deal, being able to take projects elsewhere if needs be, something he couldn’t do at The Mouse House. He also cites Paramount’s handling of the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z as one of the things that impressed him about them, juggling the bad press amidst lengthy re-shoots and still coming out well over the top at the box office.
That is something that Disney wasn’t able to do with The Lone Ranger, announcing the need to write down as much as $190m. from losses on the film, which I still maintain has been one of the best blockbusters of the year. More than anything, it was plagued by negativity from critics before the movie was even seen, due to the difficulties it had prior to and during production.
Projects that Bruckheimer had previously set up at Disney will be staying there until they pass on them. But one project he’ll be taking with him is Shake, a cat-and-mouse thriller about an FBI agent bringing in a serial killer when an earthquake happens and the killer gets loose.
That kind of film is exactly the sort you’d have expected to see from Bruckheimer in his prime, when he was making movies like The Rock and Con Air. So it should come as something of a solace to hear that he’s moving in that kind of direction again, making movies that we can all get excited about.
The first project under Bruckheimer’s new deal with Paramount is Beverly Hills Cop IV, the long-awaited reboot of the successful franchise. Eddie Murphy has closed his deal to return as Axel Foley, and the sequel is set to see him return to his Detroit roots, bringing a more gritty style than 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop III, which Bruckheimer wasn’t involved with.
Brett Ratner is attached to direct the sequel as soon as he’s finished with Hercules, the Dwayne Johnson-led blockbuster due out in 2014.
Bruckheimer is also involved with another long-awaited sequel, that of Top Gun 2, which is sure to be another huge blockbuster success story for all involved if the project can finally get off the ground. Tom Cruise will be reprising his leading role, of course, but the late Tony Scott will tragically no longer be in the director’s chair. No word yet on who will be taking the helm in his place, but Bruckheimer and Paramount are sure to bring in a big name for the job.
The deal brings another huge producer for Paramount to add to their roster, which already boasts the likes of J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, David Ellison, and many more. The studio has been riding the successes of numerous blockbusters in recent years – World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, Pain & Gain, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Flight, the Paranormal Activity franchise, most of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the list goes on. Add in Jerry Bruckheimer’s future projects to the mix, and they’ve got a very healthy slate on the horizon.