Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Line Cinema is now, officially... dead.

New Line has had its final Friday, Time Warner is consolidating its two films studios into one and New Line Cinema will be folded into Warner Bros. Entertainment, which will end it's 40 year run as one of horrors best indie studio's. Here's a link to the article on reuters. Co-Chairmen and Co-Chief Executives, Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne have elected to leave and are in talks "about possible future business relationships with the company." Personally, I think corporate moves like this can only widen the divide between indie film and mainstream Hollywood, as a move for Time Warner to "improve business performance and financial returns" due to the pressure its getting from investors to revive its stock price cannot be looked as anything that would have the "art" of filmmaking in mind. It's a pure stock play. Bad for indie film? No, I don't think so... I think a bigger divide is a good thing. If Hollywood wants to pump out formula films, based on statistics, demographics and analysis, go right ahead. When the generic, PG-13 slop that they pump into the multiplexes fails to satisfy the audiences appetite for an actual story or something new and different, they'll start looking to the indie world. Hollywood will always make money, they have to... but this seperation will actually solidify the indie scence by better defining it... by making it an alternative to the mainstream.

In any case, let's take a look at the history of New Line... a studio that I and probably you, grew up on.

New Line was founded in 1967 and was founded by those same two executives that just stepped down, Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne. New Line was responsible for various cult hits, including: "Dark City", the "Austin Powers" trilogy and, of course, the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series, which was its first commercially successful series. They also picked up the "Friday the 13th" franchise and came out with "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday", "Jason X", then "Freddy vs. Jason". New Line also re-released "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and was responsible for the 2003 remake, as well as the 2006 prequel. New Line grew and prospered where a lot of early indie studios did not. They grew to become a leader in the industry, culminating with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. A successful studio for 40 years, it will be hard to imagine a film world without them. So long, 'house that Freddy built', I'll miss you.

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