A producer-duo, David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, have left Disney for Universal. The duo had been at Disney for 20 years under a first-look pact. Their credits include George of the Jungle, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Eight Below, The Shaggy Dog, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, and Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast brought in 1.264 billion respectively in the box office and was a smash hit for the studios. It was the second most profitable release in 2017, holding title for being the seventh-biggest opening for Disney overall.
Hoberman and Lieberman are now in the first-look production agreement with Universal, and when talking about the move after the announcement this last Thursday, Hoberman said, “Disney has been an incredible journey for me, working both as an executive and producer for the last 32 years. I have great admiration for everyone I’ve worked with over the years and Todd and I have loved the process of making movies there. We are excited to be moving to Universal as it has been a studio I’ve had great respect for. Donna and Peter are a formidable team and we are so thrilled to have the opportunity to call Universal our new home in Todd’s and my next chapter.”
Hoberman and Lieberman are also partners of Mandeville Films, which was headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios. If you look at their outdated list of upcoming films on their Wikipedia page, you can see that there were many Walt Disney Pictures collaborations lined up. A live-action Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers movie, a Phineas and Ferb film, and one titled Grandma’s Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast. Doing a quick Google search of each film, you can see that collarborations were pushed back and finally cancelled.