Carolyn Blackwood Exits Warner Bros. Amid Ongoing Shake-Up

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Warner Bros. Motion Pictures Group COO Carolyn Blackwood is exiting her post.

Blackwood’s departure was widely expected after new owner Warner Bros. Discovery announced last week that movie studio chief Toby Emmerich, her boss and longtime confidant, would be stepping down.

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Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav wants a new start, and has tapped Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy to run Warners and New Line as soon as Amazon releases them from their contracts at MGM.

Emmerich, who has been leading Warners since 2017 after a long run at New Line, will segue to a producing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery.

Blackwood has been with Warners and worked with Emmerich for 23 years, starting at New Line. When Emmerich was promoted to head of production, she was working in legal and business affairs. Their professional partnership developed from there.

She rose to the role of Warner Bros. Motion Picture COO in 2019 and was tasked with running the day-to-day operations of the studio. In recent years, she had to contend with an AT&T takeover and a pandemic. She played a key role in developing “project popcorn” with former WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar, whereby all Warner Bros. titles in 2021 opened simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

As COO, Blackwood cut a wide swath of oversight duties, among them physical production, business affairs, music and live events. And she continued to co-run New Line with Richard Brener. At New Line, Blackwood has helped guide the Conjuring universe, James Wan’s hit horror franchise, and the Hobbit movies.

At Warner Bros., she helped shepherd Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, alongside numerous other titles, including DC’s The Batman.

“Carolyn is one of the most talented and strategic executives in the business, and it’s been a highlight of my career to have been colleagues with her the last 23 years,” said Emmerich. “She’s beloved across our film operation and deservedly well respected by talent and her peers. She’s been a terrific partner and even better friend, and I know that great things are ahead for her.”

In a statement, Blackwood reflected on her Warners years. Said the departing executive: “New Line and WB has been my home for the past 23 years and I will always treasure my time there. I have great respect for David, Mike and Pam and wish the studio and all my beloved and talented colleagues all the luck in the world.”

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