Alan Horn on leaving Warners: They offered me a going-away party but I didn't want it

Alan_horn It's the beginning of baseball season, but it's the end of a long Hollywood season for Alan Horn, who ends his 12-year reign as head of the Warner Bros. motion picture group this week. When we sat down to talk the other day, Horn, 68, was clearly feeling ambivalent about his exit, which is usually the way top executives feel when the big corporate boss -- in this case, Jeff Bewkes -- tells them their time is up.

"It wasn't my decision," he told me. "They wanted to have a succession plan in place, so the timing was theirs -- meaning Jeff Bewkes and Barry Meyer. At the end of the day, I'm just an employee. Every dog has his day and I had a very good run. They offered to throw a going-away party, but I didn't want it. As I like to say, and I say this with a smile, they wanted younger and arguably better-looking management. I helped give Jeff Robinov a lot of responsibilities and now it's his time to run things."

When you gauge a studio chief's record, you usually just look at the movies he made. But Horn also had a big effect when it came to what you might call his films' social content. An ardent environmentalist who prodded the studio into converting much of its diesel truck fleet to Priuses and installed solar panels on a number of buildings across the lot, Horn gave the thumbs-down to characters in scripts who were driving Hummers, frowned on unnecessary nudity and dirty language and fought to keep smoking out of most of the studio's films.

To his credit, he didn't just put pressure on some first-time filmmaker. When Horn saw an early cut of Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," which went on to win an Oscar for best picture, he was appalled by a scene that featured Jack Nicholson having sex and doing cocaine. Horn talked to

03/31/2011 14:03

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