Academy president gets into 'Hot Tub'

Tom Sherak hired to consult on MGM's upcoming film

While serving as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Tom Sherak also has been engaged as a movie consultant.

About two months ago, Sherak was hired by J.P. Morgan, which is leading a steering committee representing MGM's lenders group, to consult on "Hot Tub Time Machine," the studio's lone release this spring.

The comedy starring John Cusack, scheduled to open wide March 26, comes at a crucial time for MGM, all or part of which could be sold soon. A big "Hot Tub" opening would make for a timely splash.

"I was asked by J.P. Morgan if I would come on board to watch MGM work on the movie," Sherak said. "I saw the movie and believed it would work and became like a cheerleader."

Sherak said his role mostly has been to discuss marketing and distribution plans and materials with studio executive Michael Vollman, Terry Press (the former DreamWorks head of marketing who also is a consultant) and others.

"I've been in the background because there's no reason for me to be in the front ground," said Sherak, who was chairman of Fox and a producing partner at Revolution Studios. "I'm part of it and enjoying it, but they're doing the heavy lifting."

Sherak said the movie aimed primarily at the young males that made "The Hangover" and "Role Models" hits is tracking well. He predicted "Hot Tub" will have a double-digit opening.

Sherak also is a consultant to Marvel on "Iron Man 2," to Relativity Media and to Paramount on a project basis, leaving him ample time for Academy duties.
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