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Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney part company

Jerry Bruckheimer produces National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Story by Jack Foley

SUPER-producer Jerry Bruckheimer is to part company with Disney.

The two formed one of the most prolific partnerships in recent blocbuster history during the 20 years they’ve worked together, including both the Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure franchises, as well as hits such as Armageddon and The Rock.

But more recently, they’ve found it harder to work together as Disney looked to cap over-spending on blockbusters while Bruckheimer pursued ever more adventurous projects.

Matters came to a head this year with The Lone Ranger, a film that reunited Bruckheimer with Johnny Depp, and which reportedly cost $215m (£136m) to make, but which has only grossed $243m (£154m) world-wide to date.

Disney faces losses of $190m (£118m) following the film’s under-performance.

Bruckheimer insists the split hasn’t come as a direct result of that failure, but rather the different directions both parties now wanted to take. And he also promised they would continue to work together on existing franchises – the split comes in relation to the producer’s first-look deal.

“It’s time for us to tackle all kinds of movies, not just Disney movies,” Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re still working on Pirates and hopefully National Treasure, and we still have development at Disney.”

And the amicable nature of the split appeared to be echoed by Alan Horn, chairman of Disney Studios, who said in a separate statement: “Jerry is one of the most respected and prolific producers working in the motion picture industry, and we have had an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades. He is a friend to many of us here at Disney.

“We will continue to work together in the future, and we look forward to seeing more of the films that have made Jerry Bruckheimer a Hollywood legend.”

A fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film is already in the works even though its release date was recently pushed back to beyond the summer of 2015 following script and budget concerns.

As for Bruckheimer’s own future, he has declared an intention to return to “more mature films” and is currently working on sequels to Top Gun and Bad Boys.

“I am very appreciative of the wonderful collaboration and support I have had at The Walt Disney Company for over 20 years and the 27 movies we have made together,” he continued. “As we continue to make adventure films, we look forward to returning to films like Black Hawk Down, Enemy of the State, Beverly Hills Cop and The Rock.”

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