Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks could leave Disney next year

Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks may be looking for a new home. The company’s distribution deal with the Walt Disney Co., which has been in effect since 2009, will expire in August 2016, and Spielberg is reportedly looking to take his movies elsewhere, EW has confirmed.

The Hollywood Reporter reported the news first.

While Spielberg’s plans to leave Disney aren’t definite, sources close to the negotiations say a renewal is not expected, and the filmmaker has begun talks to find another distribution home for DreamWorks.

The evident frontrunner is Universal, where Spielberg has a long, rich history and still houses the headquarters of his Amblin offices. Universal is where he produced this summer’s record-smashing Jurassic World — the enormous success of which comes at a convenient moment for him as he negotiates a new DreamWorks deal.

He could also go to Fox, where former DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider is now studio co-chair. She left on good terms, and a partnership between her and Spielberg is a distinct possibility.

Also possible is a deal with Warner Bros. Next up after his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Spielberg will direct the film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One, for which he will return to Warner Bros. after 14 years away from the studio — his last film there was 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence — where he produced several hits in the 1980s, including Gremlins and The Goonies.

Somewhat less likely is Paramount, which was home to DreamWorks before the Disney deal. It’s a longer shot, since that relationship ended in frustration with how Paramount handled DreamWorks titles.

If DreamWorks does move to a different studio, then The BFG, which is set to hit theaters in July 2016, will be Spielberg’s last film released as part of the deal with Disney. Head to The Hollywood Reporter for the full story. 

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