Morgan Creek's Nicita Considers Exit

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Stalled movies, a bankruptcy, and now its co-chairman might be on his way out.

When Rick Nicita Joined Morgan Creek Productions in August 2008 as co-chairman, CEO James Robinson said the former CAA managing partner would have "a big palette" as his creative head. But the picture hasn't been pretty for the once-highflying company behind such early-1990s hits as Robin Hood and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

During Nicita's tenure, Morgan Creek has released only one film -- Dream House, which opened Sept. 30 and grossed $35 million worldwide on a $55 million budget -- and has had other projects delayed while the company deals with the bankruptcy of its international distribution arm, which has cited debts of as much as
$100 million.

Now, Nicita could be leaving. His contract expires at the end of December, and the company tells THR that "Rick and Jim have not discussed Rick's contract." Typically, such a deal is inked well in advance of expiration. A source says Nicita, who once ran the careers of Tom Cruise, Al Pacino and Nicole Kidman, is considering a return to representation as well as opportunities as a producer.

Morgan Creek still has a distribution deal with Universal, though it is set to expire at the end of 2012. The company, co-founded in 1988 by Robinson and Joe Roth, had been slated to produce Major League 3, but Robinson said in February that he wouldn't risk working with star Charlie Sheen. A planned Tupac Shakur biopic has stalled, and in November, Morgan Creek pulled out of co-financing Warren Beatty's Howard Hughes biopic. Nicita and Robinson declined comment.


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