Variety is reporting that in a move that is shocking to some and expected by others, Time Warner has decided to fuse together two of the mega-names of film studios, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros., with New Line acting as a branch of WB.
This will end New Line’s 40-year run as one of the biggest indie studios out there, giving us juggernaut franchises like The Lord of the Rings and Austin Powers; also, 600 jobs will be lost in the wake of this merger. New Line’s main names, Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne, will be leaving the company, but are apparently still going to stay alert to possible positions in the future. (After the relative failure of New Line’s big-budget fantasy The Golden Compass, it seemed like Shaye would soon get the ax.)
Basically, it sounds to me like New Line just wasn’t doing their part anymore and something needed to be done. It’s made to sound like this was a friendly merger of two film studios, but the visual that I get is that of when a small piece of Play Dough (New Line) is smooshed into a massive ball (Warner Bros.) to make it a little larger. WB will be the main name from now on, and it sounds to me like you won’t be seeing much special stuff from this new “branch.” In fact, the biggest titles to look for will probably be the Nightmare on Elm Street prequel and the Friday the 13th re-imagining (see New Line to Relaunch ‘Elm Street’ Franchise) and maybe even a little Freddy vs Jason 2!
How exciting is that for all of you New Line junkies? Best day of your lives, I’m sure.
I do find it ironic that A Nightmare on Elm Street was in fact one of the movies that gave New Line a desperately needed boost and now, we may be seeing it thrive off of just such a genre as a minuscule branch of Warner Bros. But, hey, I guess that Rogue pictures needs a little competition, so why not here and now with the fallen king.
Hopefully, in the end, this will all work out nicely and not ripple out too much. Most importantly, let us all hope that it doesn’t effect the still-in-the-works Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit and its planned sequel, which was naturally going through New Line. I can’t see WB doing anything too drastic there and risking missing out on millions or even billions in added profit!