Warner Bros. in Disarray

Warner Bros. is undergoing a management shake-up at the same time as Legendary Productions, responsible for some of the studio’s biggest hits under a production and co-financing deal, has decided to move to another studio when its Warners deal ends.

Another in a series of management changes hit Monday, when Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group president Jeff Robinov left the company, according to Variety.  Robinov had been responsible for some big geek hits, including, most recently, Man of Steel.  His responsibilities will now be divided between three of Robinov’s former direct reports, Greg Silverman, Sue Kroll, and New Line’s Toby Emmerich, who will all report to new Warner CEO Kevin Tsujihara.  Robinov had been widely expected to leave after he lost in the competition to succeed former Warner CEO Barry Meyer, and things came to a head last week.

Warner’s head of TV, Bruce Rosenblum, another key executive who also lost in the run-off to succeed Meyer, left Warner Bros. in May and went to Legendary as its head of TV and digital.

It’s unclear where DC Entertainment will fall in the new structure at Warner Bros.; DC Entertainment CEO Diane Nelson had previously reported to Robinov.   That could put Nelson on the hot seat, as a new person takes over above her and looks to put his or her own stamp on the company.

Meanwhile talks between Legendary Productions and Warner Bros., who had been negotiating a possible renewal of Legendary’s eight-year deal with Warners, broke off on Monday, ensuring that Legendary is going to end up at another studio, according to Hollywood Reporter.  Legendary has produced a big percentage of the most popular non-Marvel geek films in the last eight years, including the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, 300, and Man of Steel, as well as a few less successful efforts such as Watchmen, Superman Returns, and Jonah Hex.    Legendary has a big bankroll, good taste, and a growing presence in the geek world through its Legendary Comics and Nerdist divisions.

All of these changes mean that Warners is going to be a different company in the coming months and years, with big potential impacts on the world of geek culture.

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