You’ll be forgiven for doing a spit take during the credits for House of Gucci. Yes, that’s Kevin Ulrich’s name among the executive producers of Ridley Scott’s new murder melodrama.
It’s the first producing credit for the longtime MGM board chairman and C.E.O. of Anchorage Capital, the New York hedge fund that stands to make about $2 billion if the $8.5 billion sale to Amazon closes early next year, as anticipated. Studio chairmen typically don’t take personal credits, so what, exactly, did Ulrich do to earn his title?
A rep for Ulrich notes that he was part of the team that helped set the film up at MGM. So, he performed a duty that every studio chairman performs? Maybe he now considers himself one of the film’s financiers, who get credits all the time (see Bron Studios C.E.O. Aaron Gilbert and investor Jason Cloth on Gucci, for example). And sure, back in the day, Harvey Weinstein was usually credited on his movies, and smaller units like New Line would give credits to execs. But again, Ulrich is a chairman, not a division head.
Maybe it’s a “savior” credit for greenlighting a film that others wouldn’t. The Gucci project bounced around for years at several studios, in many incarnations (there was a version with Angelina Jolie and Leo DiCaprio at one point, and Megan Ellison has an E.P. credit for what MGM says was her contributions to an earlier iteration). Or maybe it’s just an old-fashioned vanity credit. After all, Ulrich spent a decade in Hollywood—he should get something besides his $2 billion check.