Tom Rothman, who will depart his post as chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment on Jan. 1, is nearing a deal to take on a new role as producer.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Rothman is in talks to produce Robopocalypse, the Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi action film in the works at DreamWorks. In addition, Anne Hathaway is in talks for the female lead, according to sources close to the film, who characterized the discussions as in an early stage. Chris Hemsworth reportedly is negotiating to star as well.
The futuristic Robopocalypse is being co-produced by DreamWorks and Fox, with Disney handling domestic distribution and Fox taking care of foreign. Disney and Fox have set a release date of April 25, 2014.
Based on the 2011 book by Daniel H. Wilson, Robopocalypse reunites Fox and Spielberg, who worked together on Minority Report. Rothman, who recently announced his departure from Fox after 18 years with the studio, has a close relationship with Spielberg and is credited with orchestrating the deal that brought Fox on board to co-distribute Robopocalypse.
DreamWorks has been developing the property since 2009, when it acquired rights to Wilson’s then-unpublished manuscript about the fate of the human race following a robot uprising.
UPDATE: DreamWorks issued a statement late Monday confirming THR‘s report that Rothman will produce:
Said Steven Spielberg, “When someone like Tom is a free agent, you snatch him up fast. He has proven himself to be a necessity of this industry. At Fox he had already been an enthusiastic partner on Robopocalypse, and it is to our advantage that he would come produce this film with me. Tom has been a wonderful friend and colleague over the years and DreamWorks is incredibly lucky to have him on board.”
Said Tom Rothman, “If you are in politics, you dream of a call from the White House, in baseball, from the Yankees, in movies, fromSteven Spielberg. Robopocalypse is the kind of important epic entertainment, a big movie with big ideas, that Steven does better than anyfilmmaker on earth. I am honored beyond measure that he asked for my help on it and fired up to do whatever I can for him, Stacey, the outstanding DreamWorks team, and all of my friends at Fox. I enjoyed the idea of being unemployed for a week, but this will be way more fun.”
Said Stacey Snider, “Tom was a fantastic studio chairman and his impeccable taste and passion for films will serve Steven, DreamWorks and this film well.”