A trend is beginning in 2013 with major studios ending long term relationships. In late June it was reported that the eight year partnership between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures was coming to an end (the latter wound up signing a pact with Universal Pictures), and now it's been announced that Disney has terminated its first-look deal with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, bringing it to an end at the start of 2014.
Much like how we have yet to see the Legendary/Warners co-produced movies like 300: Rise of an Empire and Godzilla, there are still projects that will tie Bruckheimer's company to the House of Mouse. They are still working together on Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with Johnny Depp, and in a quote to The Hollywood Reporter Bruckheimer said that they are even "hopefully" collaborating on a second National Treasure sequel.
While you may suspect that the split is a result of the massive flop The Lone Ranger, the producer says that's not the case. Instead, it was about the variety of movies that the company wants to make. "We have a full body of work with them" Bruckheimer said. "It's not about Lone Ranger. It's more about the types of movies Disney is making, and the types of movies we want to make, in addition to Pirates." He also added that he had encouraged talks about revitalizing Touchstone Pictures - the Disney label that released more adult-oriented fare like The Insider, Con Air and Pretty Woman - but, as Bruckheimer explains, "they don't want to do it." Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn told the trade Dreamworks currently serves the role that Touchstone would play, and added about the split,
"This is about a long-term relationship with lots of pluses and minuses. The Lone Ranger certainly didn't help things, but we all have our wins and our losses, and this is an overall thing related to the company's supply of projects from all these other places."
Outside of Bruckheimer's deal with Disney there remains potential for a sequel to Top Gun (which could be complicated by the tragic death of director Tony Scott) and a possible Bad Boys 3 (though Michael Bay may be too far lost in robot world). Speaking of Bay, the two haven't worked together since 2003's Bad Boys 2. Could this be the opportune time for a reunion?
Bruckheimer has been responsible for some pretty terrible movies over the last few years, producing titles like G-Force, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but if you remember far back enough you'll realize that he used to be behind some really good films. Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s he made films like Farewell, My Lovely, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, The Ref and Enemy of the State. Perhaps severing the tie with Disney will allow him to get back to his roots and start making enjoyable blockbusters again.