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Sony's Amy Pascal Adds Michael De Luca as Production President

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 6, 2013 at 1:59PM

While Sony motion picture chief Amy Pascal is hanging onto her current staffers for now, Michael De Luca is a heavyweight who will have a strong hand as president of production. We'll see where Columbia president Doug Belgrad and current Columbia production president Hannah Minghella--who can't be thrilled at this admission of weakness--wind up months from now.
Michael De Luca

Michael De Luca is a gifted Hollywood producer who has been charged with delivering some of Sony's recent best movies, from Best Picture nominees "Moneyball" and "The Social Network" to this year's contender "Captain Phillips." (Our interview with him here.) He often works with other top producers, including Dana Brunetti and Scott Rudin.  But clearly Sony's motion picture chief Amy Pascal trusts him. 

Hannah Minghella
Hannah Minghella

Under pressure on many fronts to up Sony's game after a troubled year, Pascal already brought in ex-Fox chief Tom Rothman to reinvigorate Sony's TriStar label. And now Sony is following up installing a new marketing chief by changing the guard in production as well. Veteran Michael De Luca, 48, is joining Hannah Minghella, 34, as president of production at Sony's Columbia Pictures label. Minghella, the daughter of the late British filmmaker Anthony Minghella, is the Sony creative executive who has been supervising the "21 Jump Street," "Salt," and "The Amazing Spider Man" franchises. Both will report to Columbia President Doug Belgrad, who is being given more overall Sony responsibility.

While Pascal is hanging onto her current staffers for now, De Luca is a heavyweight who will presumably have a strong hand. We'll see where Belgrad and Minghella--who can't be thrilled at this admission of weakness--wind up months from now. 

De Luca Productions hs been housed at Sony since 2004, also producing "21" and the "Ghost Rider" franchise.

In many ways De Luca is not your typical studio executive. He rose through the ranks as Robert Shaye's favorite son at New Line Cinema, in a free-wheeling indie environment that was far from corporate--in fact he was known as something of a raucous party boy at the time. But he's matured considerably, forged a successful producing career, married and has a family. But he's still edgy: he and Brunetti just started production on the high-profile "50 Shades of Grey" at Universal/Focus.  

Bravo to Pascal. This appointment sends a loud signal that she is willing to shake up the big-studio rules. De Luca has a strong instinct for what moviegoers want to see and how to reach them. Talent like and trust him. He thinks young. He knows how to mix things up. And as Pascal sheds herself of costly assistants and her spendthrift ways, De Luca will be a strong ally.

This article is related to: Michael De Luca, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics, Sony, Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.