Six months after she was relieved of her post running Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Nina Jacobson has landed a three-year, first-look deal at DreamWorks Studios. The deal is effective Jan. 1.
The move is a sort of homecoming for Jacobson, who was a senior film executive at DreamWorks before joining Disney as president of the motion pictures division in 1998. At DreamWorks, she helped develop the early hits "What Lies Beneath" and "Antz," the latter of which began as an idea of hers.
"I'm very proud to be able to welcome Nina home," DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg said. Said Jacobson: "When I left DreamWorks for Disney in 1998, Steven encouraged me to look at my time away as 'study abroad.' I feel very lucky to be able to bring all that I have learned over the past eight years back to DreamWorks as a producer. There is no one for whom I have greater respect or affection than Stacey (Snider), Adam (Goodman) and Steven Spielberg. They have created a culture at DreamWorks that values talent and candor, and I am honored to be able to contribute to their slate."
At Disney, Jacobson was behind the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies and developed a broad slate of films such as the female-targeted "The Princess Diaries" and "Freaky Friday" and the sports-oriented "Remember the Titans" and "The Rookie."
She also developed strong director relationships with the likes of Wes Anderson and M. Night Shyamalan. It is those relationships that DreamWorks hopes to capitalize on. "She is a rare talent who has earned the respect of writers, filmmakers and all those who have known her and worked with her," DreamWorks co-chairman and CEO Snider said.
"We are fortunate that she has chosen DreamWorks for the opportunity to wear a producing hat for her own projects." Said production president Goodman: "We're thrilled to have her join our producing roster. We know she can deliver, and we are here to support her in every way." Before DreamWorks,
Jacobson worked at Universal as a senior vp, where she oversaw "Twelve Monkeys," "Dazed and Confused" and "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story."