With his name attached to some of the most successful films of the 1990s, film producer Michael De Luca built a career while teaming with some of the biggest names in the business. The Brooklyn native's electrician father fed his son's love of film early on by sneaking him into local movie theaters, and soon after skipping the eighth grade, De Luca enrolled in the N.Y.U. film studies program at the age of 17. Inspired by such filmmakers as George Lucas and Martin Scorsese, De Luca abandoned his education just four credits shy of graduation to accept an unpaid internship at New Line Cinema, where he was taken under the wing of New Line founder Robert Shaye. De Luca had the good fortune to be involved with A Nightmare on Elm Street -- the film that would ultimately put the fledgling production company on the map -- and he was soon promoted to director of development at New Line; by the age of 29, he was a production executive.
New Line was acquired by Ted Turner and Time-Warner shortly thereafter.De Luca gained a reputation for using his funds efficiently, and his subsequent involvement in the production of The Mask finally established him as a true Hollywood player. Such films as Dumb and Dumber (1994) and Seven (1995) launched both his career and New Line's, reputation, but subsequent failures, including Last Man Standing and The Island of Dr. Moreau (both 1996) -- and his ejection from an industry party for public indecency -- threatened to sidetrack him. Though he was teetering on oblivion, De Luca was soon back on track after friends and co-workers voiced concerns about his erratic behavior. It wasn't long before he was once again reliving the success of his prime, and with such releases as Boogie Nights (1997), Pleasantville (1998), and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, the studio was more successful than ever. In 2002 and 2003, De Luca made Premiere magazine's "Power 100" list, and, in 2003, he left New Line to become the president of production at DreamWorks Pictures. In addition to his work as a producer, De Luca wrote screenplays for such films as Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and In the Mouth of Madness (1994).