Jerry Bruckheimer, one of Hollywood's most powerful producers, is returning home.
The veteran filmmaker, who had an enormously successful run on the Paramount Pictures lot with "Flashdance," "Beverly Hills Cop," "Top Gun" and other movies in the 1980s and early 1990s, is headed back to the studio.
Bruckheimer, 70, signed a three-year, first-look deal with the Viacom Inc.-owned studio. It begins in April, after his 23-year partnership with Walt Disney Co. ends. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.
The deal is a coup for Paramount, which since 2012 has seen its lucrative partnerships with DreamWorks Animation and Marvel Studios end. Its market share has shrunk as a result of releasing fewer movies.
Bruckheimer will provide a boost to the studio, churning out the sort of splashy action pictures that have defined his four-decade-plus career, though Paramount's slate isn't expected to grow on an annual basis as a result of the deal.
"This is a step in the right direction in the wake of those [DreamWorks Animation and Marvel] losses," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at entertainment industry data firm Rentrak. "It's a perfect time for Paramount to get back in that groove."
The producer's first films under the new agreement will hearken back to his Paramount glory days, and they won't lack for star power: Bruckheimer plans to make a "Beverly Hills Cop" movie that would star Eddie Murphy, and "Top Gun 2," which would be top-lined by Tom Cruise.
Rebooting those iconic franchises could be a boon for Paramount, which has its share of tent-pole film series in the "Transformers" and "Star Trek" pictures, but has trailed competitors such as Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures at the box office the last two years.
Bruckheimer told The Times that he considered making a deal with another movie studio, but in the end felt most comfortable reuniting with Paramount.
"We talked to everybody, and we felt that when you look at the strength of their marketing and distribution, it's at the top of the heap," Bruckheimer said.
The producer said he was particularly impressed with how Paramount handled the marketing and release of last summer's "World War Z," an expensive Brad Pitt-starring thriller that was the subject of much media scrutiny over its budget and production issues. The movie took in $540 million worldwide.
Bruckheimer experienced his share of criticism this year after his most recent Disney picture, "The Lone Ranger," bombed at the box office, grossing $261 million worldwide. The movie cost an estimated $225 million to produce and tens of millions of dollars more to market.
"I saw with 'World War Z,' I saw how the media beat up on them — like we got beat up on 'Lone Ranger' — and I saw how they handled it and it was a successful movie," he said.
Bruckheimer spoke fondly of his association with Disney, a run that generated 27 pictures and more than $9 billion in global box-office receipts, Rentrak said.
He said that the poor performance of "The Lone Ranger" did not "have much to do with leaving" Disney, a stance he has taken publicly since late September, when it was announced that his deal with Walt Disney Studios would not be renewed.
"We aren't immune to pictures that don't quite live up to their expectations," Bruckheimer said, but added that his departure from Disney is "more about wanting to spread my wings and do more than PG and soft PG-13 movies."