Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has entered into a three-year, first look production agreement with Academy Award nominated producer Michael De Luca. In his return to independent producing, De Luca will resume his role as producer of the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy among other projects he will bring to Universal. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley.
“Mike is one of the most talented producers in Hollywood today,” said Langley. “His creative instincts and deep industry relationships will be a terrific complement to our studio. Mike has been an incredible friend and mentor to me for many years and I’m thrilled to have him on the Lot with us.”
“I feel incredibly grateful and honored to be returning to the Universal family and build on the wonderful production experiences I’ve already enjoyed there,” said De Luca. “Donna Langley is not only completely brilliant and inspired in her job but one of the best human beings I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She is truly one of my best friends in the world and I am beyond excited to work with her, Peter Cramer, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Josh Goldstine and her whole Universal team on this next phase of our collaborations.”
De Luca most recently served as President of Production for Columbia Pictures where he oversaw a slate that included the upcoming films Pixels and Grimsby, as well as the Ron Howard film Inferno, the studio’s remake with MGM of The Magnificent Seven, and Paul Feig’s new Ghostbusters. He is also credited with bringing in such high profile projects as Passengers, with Morten Tyldum directing Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as The 75 with Yann Demange directing and The Gray Man with Joe and Anthony Russo adapting. Prior to that, De Luca had a production deal with Columbia since 2004, during which he produced several successful projects including the Academy Award-nominated Captain Phillips, the Oscar-nominated Moneyball and the Academy Award-winning The Social Network.
De Luca served as DreamWorks’ Head of Production from 2001 to 2004, overseeing the live-action division and the production of such films as Old School and Anchorman. Earlier in his career, he spent seven years as President and COO of New Line Productions where he worked on successful franchises including Friday, Blade, Austin Powers and Rush Hour.