Hollywood mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who's had a lucrative run with Disney for many years now, has moved on. According to Deadline, the Pirates of The Caribbean producer has signed a deal that would bring his Bruckeimer Films shingle to Paramount with a three-year first-look agreement. The man's films have grossed over $16 billion over the years, and he's known for loving "big" movies- ie. blockbusters, tentpoles, action/effects-heavy sagas. His last one, though, didn't fair so well. The Lone Ranger was a commercial and critical failure for Disney, but it's unlikely that's the only reason their relationship ended.
Bruckheimer told Deadline, "I have a lot more freedom than at Disney." He's seemingly referring to the fact that Paramount will give him more leg room to set up projects elsewhere, where as his deal with Disney didn't allow for that. He's also said to be very fond of Paramount because of the way they handled a blockbuster he had nothing to do with- World War Z. He watched from afar as Paramount got behind the film, marketed it, and helped position it in such a way that it would become a major hit- despite the hellishly delayed, rewritten, and uber-expensive production seemingly being dead in the water before it ever even arrived in theaters. He could've, perhaps, used that kind of support when Lone Ranger was struggling against bad pre-release press, but the film was never able to overcome the negative buzz and tanked.
The new deal won't go into effect until April, but there are all ready plans for at least one high profile sequel- Beverly Hills Cop 4. You may recall that a pilot had been shot to relaunch the series as a TV show, with Brandon T. Jackson ("What do you mean, 'you people'?") playing Eddie Murphy's son. Murphy was set to reprise his role as Axel Foley, and several other veterans of the films were set to appear on the series in small, supporting roles. But the pilot didn't sell. The Deadline report claims that the new film would star Murphy, and return the character to his Detroit roots. Director Brett Ratner, who has been linked to the film for years, is still seemingly in-line to helm.
Beverly Hills Cop was a huge hit when Bruckheimer and Paramount worked together in the 80s, and it wouldn't be the only property from that era that they'd like to revisit. Also said to be in-the-works now that the two entities are reunited is a sequel to Top Gun. Tom Cruise recently expressed interest in returning to the cockpit, but when original director Tony Scott committed suicide last year, talk of a follow-up fell apart.
It would appear Bruckheimer and Paramount are keen to look at their past in hopes that it will ignite their future. Only time will tell if that is the right direction for them to be looking in.