Joel Silver Out at Silver Pictures

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Joel Silver

Silver founded the production company in 1980 and it has co-produced the 'Lethal Weapon,' 'Matrix' and 'Sherlock Holmes' franchises.

Joel Silver is leaving Silver Pictures, the production company he founded and which carries his name, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. 

Hal Sadoff, a former ICM agent, will remain in place as Silver Pictures CEO. "Joel Silver recently indicated that he intends to leave Silver Pictures and go out on his own. We are working with him to define a productive way forward, given his ongoing contractual obligations to the company," Sadoff said Monday in a statement to THR.

He added: "Meanwhile, we are continuing to move ahead with our slate of exciting projects and have had very positive discussions with our studio partners around town.”

Founded by Silver in 1980, Silver Pictures' impressive production credits include the Lethal Weapon, Matrix and Sherlock Holmes franchises, all made with former longtime partner Warner Bros.

Silver was a fixture at Warners for years and his lucrative deal guaranteed him a percentage of the revenue from his pictures and loans against future earnings. Additionally, Warners had an agreement to distribute movies from Dark Castle, Silver Pictures’ privately funded genre label.

Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. ended their business relationship in 2012, with THR reporting that Silver took cash, somewhere in the region of $30 million, in lieu of future revenue from the movies he produced at the studio.

Silver, a larger-than-life figure with a reputation for being a spendthrift, was dogged by reports of financial problems after the dissolution of the Warner Bros. partnership. In 2015, Silver brought in Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz, the chairman and CEO of the Katz Group of Companies, as an investor and Sadoff came on board as CEO. Sadoff and Silver have a longtime relationship, having worked together on House on Haunted Hill, Thirteen Ghosts and Gothika.

More recently, Silver Pictures produced George Clooney's Suburbicon and Shane Black's The Nice Guys which both underwhelmed at the box office. In 2018, the company released Superfly, a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation classic, which also flopped. Silver is currently working on Sherlock Holmes 3, which has a tentative release date of Christmas 2021. 

Ryan Parker contributed to this report.