Sources: Robinov and Fox Courtship Intensifies
Hollywood sources see an increasing likelihood that former Warner Bros. film studio chief Jeff Robinov will hammer out a deal to take a top executive position at Fox, reporting to chairman Jim Gianopulos.
A number of observers say they believe Robinov, who is still said to be engaged in unwinding his relationship with Warners, would oversee film production at the studio. It is unclear whether he would also have oversight over marketing. Obviously a negotiation could break down over such issues.
Robinov’s departure as president of the Warners film studio, a post he had held since 2007, was confirmed on June 24. Sources believe Warners will preclude him from raiding talent as part of his settlement. His contract was to have expired in 2014.
A number of industry observers believe that Robinov's strengths as head of the industry’s most successful film studio -- with hits including Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies as well as Todd Phillips’ The Hangover franchise and Ben Affleck’s Argo -- outweigh his sometimes prickly personality.
Gianopulos has been expected to bring in a high-level creative executive ever since Fox dispatched studio co-chairman Tom Rothman last September. (Soon after Rothman's dismissal, DreamWorks co-chairman and CEO Stacey Snider was approached.)
Robinov could bring access to material and talent that might not otherwise see Fox as a top choice. While the job at Fox would be less powerful than the position that Robinov held at Warners, where he had authority to greenlight movies, there appears to be no other high-level executive opening at any other studio at this point. And Robinov has made it clear that he's not interested in a production deal.
Sources say there has been no formal negotiation between Robinov and Fox as of yet. But clearly an agreement could be hammered out quickly once Robinov’s exit from Warners is concluded.
Robinov declined comment. Fox did not respond to a request for comment.