Based on this morning's published reports about Stacey Snider's choice to leave Universal to become co-chair of DreamWorks, we think we have a pretty good idea of how Snider spent her agonizing weekend mulling the career decision demanded by Uni boss Ron Meyer before Monday. After a reflective, barefoot stroll on the beach in an oversized "Property of Universal Pictures" sweatshirt and much meaningful staring into the placid ocean, Snider returned home to sit in front of her vanity, alternating her gaze between the soft-focus picture of current beau Meyer tacked to her mirror and a gaudily framed photo of brawny Paramount emperor Brad Grey and DreamWorks hunk Steven Spielberg showing off their varsity football jackets, her wistful sighs occasionally drowning out the ticks of the noisy grandfather clock counting off the seconds until the arrival of her deadline. Then, of course, the cell phone rang and her lawyer let her know that Paramount played ball on her salary (apparently still a pay cut, but a reported $2.5-3 million base is nothing to sneeze at), and all barriers to leaping into Spielberg's big, strong arms were suddenly gone. Reports the LAT:
"I had at times in my career hoped one day I could work with Steven," said Snider.
Now, she will sit alongside him at his production headquarters, ironically still based on the Universal back lot. Snider will run the day-to-day operations with Spielberg and DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen, with whom she shares the co-chair title. Snider's start date is unclear, since Universal has not formally released her yet from her current contract, which expires in December.
In a statement to The Times, Spielberg said: "Stacey has a unique combination in a film executive in that she recognizes a need to make commercial movies, but also aspires to make art. She recognized that balance is good."
We're still awaiting our copy of Brad Grey's interoffice monkeygram announcing the coup to his employees, but perhaps he was a little preoccupied crafting yet another statement defending embattled Paramount lieutenant Gail Berman's job security in the wake of this seemingly threatening hire:
"Gail, as I've said very recently, has all my confidence. She's the president of Paramount Pictures. She has a very big job in putting together the slate of Paramount Pictures."
Steven got his gal, Brad's keeping his, and, best of all, there seems to be no reason to lay anyone off. Everybody's happy at the New New Paramount!