Michael De Luca has left Sony and is headed to Universal Pictures, where he is expected to sign a new producing deal.
De Luca has a longstanding relationship with Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley, going back to their days together at New Line Cinema, and he recently produced the hit Universal release Fifty Shades of Grey.
De Luca, who joined Sony as its president of production in December, 2013, issued a statement, saying, “I literally wish I could be in two places at once, but the opportunity to resume my producing career right now, including the possibility of continuing on the Fifty Shades trilogy, makes this the right choice for me at this unique moment in time. I look forward to continuing to work with Columbia on my existing productions there,” read a statement from the now former president of production at Columbia Pictures.
Sony motion picture group president Doug Belgrad issued a statement of his own, saying, “Mike will always be family to us. He is one of those guys who can do it all. As he transitions back to producing, we’re thrilled that we’ll be continuing to work with him on several Sony projects.”
When Amy Pascal stepped down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment in early February, both De Luca’s and Belgrad’s were among those mentioned as possible replacements. Instead, SPE chairman Michael Lynton opted to name Tom Rothman, the former Fox exec who was running Sony’s TriStar unit, chairman of Sony’s motion picture group.
Rothman told Hollywood Insight in a Feb. 25 interview that “I’m very confident in the level of executive talent here, and I prize stability,” predicting that no changes would be immanent at the studio.