Earlier this month it was announced that Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal was stepping down. She’s sticking with the company to produce any new Spider-Man movies, the Ghostbusters reboot and to launch a major new production venture at the studio, but Sony still needs someone to fill Pascal’s vacant spot and according to a report, the company found their hire.
As reported by Variety, Tom Rothman has been named head of the motion picture group. Rothman started out as an attorney and then co-produced a couple of feature films before serving as President of Worldwide Production at the Samuel Goldwyn Company. In 1994, he founded Fox Searchlight and then became the Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. After 18 years at Fox, Rothman abruptly left the company. Variety notes that his temper and “prickly personality” sparked tension between him and Fox’s corporate leadership.
When Rothman was canned in September 2012, Deadline reported that he had lost his longtime job due to continually lackluster summers, his micromanaging (he notoriously came onto the set of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and demanded that sets be repainted without the input of director Gavin Hood), and let Ted get away to Universal. He’s also no fan of superhero movies. Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld tweeted out the following:
Tom Rothman single handedly kept Deadpool from getting made at Fox. Not a fan. Scratches Sony off the list….
— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) February 24, 2015
Most recently, Rothman launched TriStar Productions over at Sony where he’s been working on films like Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, Ricki and The Flash, the adaptation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Jodie Foster’s Money Monster with George Clooney and The Lady in the Van.
Rothman reportedly beat out Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad and Sony’s President of Production Michael De Luca for the position. Most thought Belgrad was going to be the one to score the gig, but apparently Rothman’s “relationship with talent and prior experience running the studio” gave him the edge. It’s also likely that Rothman’s tightfisted business practices made him an enticing choice since he might be able to stop Sony Pictures from hemorrhaging money.