Universal: The State of Slate 🎬
Under the hood of Donna's studio, with more theatrical movies than anyone this year
Universal’s 2022-2023 lineup
Org chart of decision makers
The studio franchises and who controls them
Comedy’s future at the studio
It’s coming awards contenders
It has been nearly 10 years since Comcast completed its acquisition of NBCUniversal and shook up the studio: Donna Langley replaced co-captain Adam Fogelson as chairman of Universal Pictures; Jeff Shell was named chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment; and Ron Meyer, pre-all that, became vice-chairman of NBCUniversal. Since that dramatic do-si-do, the studio has more than settled down, becoming a remarkably consistent performer, delivering record-breaking box office while demonstrating a commitment to theatrical.
That’s a long way of saying Dame Donna (anointed as such by the Queen on July 12) has run the studio with unusual equanimity for this town. That consistency has earned her plenty of admirers. Whatever similar Chapek-esque blunders or poorly communicated Project Popcorns might have happened under her watch (and there had to have been, right?) were kept under the radar, while the studio impressively nurtured and grew original franchises: Fast and Furious, Despicable Me/Minions, Fifty Shades, and Bourne. And you know when Universal wins a bidding war for Fifty Shades of Grey or lures Christopher Nolan away from Warner Bros., part of it is that people know Langley will keep her word… because she’ll be around to keep it. Like a Hollywood embodiment of our former president’s moniker No Drama Obama, this Dame is the same.
Anyway, who at Universal would dare challenge her throne if it ever came to that? Let’s start with this handy screenshot-and-save chart of who the current power-holders and decision-makers at Universal are under her: