February 28, 2008
The studio that brought "The Evil Dead", "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and a host of other horror classics is now no more. At least not in the form it used to be. It's being folded into Warner Bros.
This may bring the future of some of their current horror projects into doubt as well.
The studio became a powerhouse with the "Elm Street" series and went on to produce the "Lord of the Rings" series.
Some of the late 1980s and early '90s "Texas Chainsaw" sequels came out of New Line, along with "Jason Goes to Hell," "Jason X" and of course "Freddy vs. Jason." New Line also introduced the world to the films of John Waters -- and had the guts to produce "Wes Craven's New Nightmare".
Aint-It-Cool-News posted this memo that went out today to Warner Bros. staff (Warner Bros. owns New Line):
This afternoon, we announced that New Line will be operated as a unit of Warner Bros. New Line will continue to retain its own brand identity and will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution, and business affairs operations, but it will now coordinate those functions with Warner Bros.
The combination should strengthen our company's filmed entertainment business by combining New Line with Warner Bros.' industry-leading position and global reach. New Line has a proud 40-year legacy of producing creative, cutting-edge entertainment. That will continue. But, given trends in the industry toward fewer movie releases, the importance of a coordinated strategy for the international and digital distribution of filmed entertainment, and the need to continue to make sure that we're running our businesses as efficiently as possible, it made sense for us to combine our studios' infrastructures.
Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, the Co-Chairs and Co-CEOs of New Line, have chosen to leave the company, but we're in discussions about possible future business relationships. Bob and Michael have a unique partnership that is noteworthy not only for its longevity, but also for its record of innovation and success. They have guided New Line's growth from a privately-held art film distributor to the world's leading independent film studio – home to such popular films as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Mask, Austin Powers, Blade, Rush Hour, Elf, Wedding Crashers and Hairspray. I thank Bob and Michael for their enduring contributions to Time Warner and look forward to working with them in the future.
This consolidation will also result in changes, including the elimination of jobs at New Line. Warner Bros. is currently working through the details and will let people know how the changes affect them as soon as possible. Colleagues whose jobs are eliminated will be treated fairly and respectfully. These are very difficult decisions, but they're important for the future success of our film studios and our company.
As always, thank you for your hard work and support as our company moves forward. I'll continue to keep you updated on our progress.
We'll know in the coming weeks what this means for projects like the "Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" remakes. But given all the remakes being produced today, two less wouldn't be a bad thing (although F13 is slated to be a semi-sequel, not just a remake).
In any case, it's incredibly sad to see "The House that Freddy Built" go.
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