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March 11, 2014

No retirement in sight for Jerry Bruckheimer

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — On a quiet morning amid the awards-season rush, Jerry Bruckheimer's shaggy golden retriever, Harper, is easily the most animated in the building.

She trots about the production company headquarters, occasionally flopping onto her side for a belly rub, oblivious that her human — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood — is starting a new chapter.

After more than two decades with Disney, where he produced the juggernaut "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "National Treasure" film franchises among many box-office hits, Bruckheimer begins a new partnership with Paramount this month. At Disney's behest, he closes the previous chapter with a photo book as outsized as some of his productions: "Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes — Four Decades of Filmmaking" is a 10-pound, 300-page chronicle of his career in pictures. Johnny Depp wrote the foreword.

"(It's) a coffee-table book to celebrate the movies that I've made, my time at Disney and my time in the business, basically," says Bruckheimer, sitting in a black leather chair in his two-story office in Santa Monica. A suit of armor stands guard over an immense wooden conference table and the silver liquor cart beside it. Books and Emmy statuettes line the walls. A spiral staircase leads to a loft.

One gets the impression it's rare to see the entertainment mogul in a highly animated state. A small, fit man who looks at least a decade younger than his 70 years, the veteran producer is gracious but measured during a recent interview. His voice and manner are quiet and firm. Once in a while, an eye-crinkling smile spreads across his face.

Bruckheimer wants to talk about his career and where it's headed, though he insists things won't change much as he begins his three-year stint with Paramount. He'll still be making movies.

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