Comcast Explores Bringing DreamWorks' Snider and Spielberg to Universal
A top source confirms that talks are underway to explore having DreamWorks chairman and CEO Stacey Snider return to Universal Studios in the top job.
Ron Meyer, Universal's long-reigning president and COO, would be offered another position.
Details are still sketchy, and a source at Universal parent NBCUniversal said no moves are imminent. The company declined comment. DreamWorks also declined comment, and Disney has not responded to requests for comment.
To execute the move, DreamWorks would have to negotiate a complicated exit deal from Disney, which distributes DreamWorks films. It also would require the sign-off of India's Reliance, which finances DreamWorks. The company has three movies going into production shortly -- Need for Speed, Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse and an untitled remake of Starbuck -- so any deal with NBCUniversal would have to take those productions into account. Sources say that due to the complex nature of extricating DreamWorks from its deal at Disney, any deal would take time to negotiate.
If Snider returns to Universal, where she formerly served as chairman of the film studio, DreamWorks founder Spielberg will return to his original home studio. Spielberg made many of his signature hits for Universal, including E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park, and he still makes his professional home in offices on the lot.
The possible move, which has been widely speculated in Hollywood for months, was reported early Wednesday by The New York Post. However, while the Post reported that the move would take place following the Olympics, which are being broadcast by NBC, an NBC Universal insider said no changes are likely to happen in that time frame.
DreamWorks has faced profound financing challenges. Universal also has been plagued with weak box-office performance, including this summer's Battleship. However, the studio's spring and summer slate has delivered the hits The Lorax, Ted and American Reunion.