Newman is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television (now known as the USC School of Cinematic Arts). He worked as a talent developer for the television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). He left television production to join SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video as a production executive. Newman's Hollywood production experience includes box office successes in the 1990s with comedy vehicles for SNL actors. He was Production Assistant for the 1992 comedy Wayne's World, starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. Newman was Production Associate for the Chris Farley and David Spade comedy Tommy Boy (1995), then Associate Producer for the comedy Black Sheep (1996), also starring Farley and Spade.
Newman joined Beacon Communications (now known as Beacon Pictures) in 1999 as a development and production executive. He was executive producer of the 2002 drama The Emperor's Club, starring Kevin Kline and directed by Michael Hoffman.
Newman is a fan of early horror films, and is now known as a producer of popular horror films. He produced a remake of George A. Romero's classic Dawn of the Dead, coinciding with a resurgence in popularity of the zombie film genre. In an interview, Newman described his vision of a remade zombie horror film for the 21st century:
Growing up, I had always loved those movies, but Dawn of the Dead was my favorite. There were always other zombie movies around, but Dawn felt to me like the one movie that stood out from the rest. I feel that the genre has not received the attention it deserves in this generation.
The 2004 Dawn of the Dead had a modest budget of $26 million, and was a huge success with audiences when it was released in 2004, reaping $102,356,381 worldwide.
Newman's success in the horror genre continued with the 2006 film Slither. Also released in 2006 was the apocalyptic thriller Children of Men. Children of Men drew critical acclaim, ultimately being nominated for three Academy Awards. He has simultaneously been involved in other films beyond the horror genre, such as executive producing the 2007 short documentary The Possibility of Hope, and the 2008 drama Flash of Genius, starring Greg Kinnear and directed by Marc Abraham, about an independent inventor who takes on a large Detroit automobile maker that stole his idea for an innovative windshield wiper.
He returned to the horror genre with 2010 release The Last Exorcism and The Thing in 2011. A sequel to the documentary-style The Last Exorcism is scheduled for release in 2012. Newman and the other producers of The Last Exorcism received a nomination for Best First Feature at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards for independent films. Newman produced The Other Woman (2011), another film written by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland, the writers of The Last Exorcism. Newman was also Producer for the futuristic thriller In Time (2011).
Newman has worked with Eli Roth to produce several feature films, including The Last Exorcism and The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), a historical drama written by Roth, starring Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu and Pam Grier, and directed by hip hop artist The RZA. He also collaborated with Roth as executive producer Hemlock Grove (2012–2015).
In September 2014, Newman formed his own production company, Grand Electric, and inked a multi-year first look deal with StudioCanal. In January 2015, film producer Jacob Jaffke joined Grand Electric as the Head of Development. Grand Electric acquires, develops and produces films for the European and U.S. markets.
Eric also executive produces and is the current showrunner of Narcos on Netflix.Wayne's World (1992) (Production Assistant)
Tommy Boy (1995) (Production Associate)
Black Sheep (1996) (Associate Producer)
The Emperor's Club (2002) (Executive Producer)
Dawn of the Dead (2004) (Producer)
Slither (2006) (Producer)
Children of Men (2006) (Producer)
The Possibility of Hope (2007) (Producer)
Flash of Genius (2008) (Executive Producer)
The Last Exorcism (2010) (Producer)
The Thing (2011) (Producer)
In Time (2011) (Producer)
The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) (Producer)
The Last Exorcism Part II (2013) (Producer)
The Sacrament (2013) (Executive Producer)
Robocop (2014) (Producer)
Bright (2017) (Producer)
NYPD Blue (season 2) (1994-1995) (Teleplay By, Story By, "You Bet Your Life": Season 2, Episode 8)
Hemlock Grove (TV series) (2013-2015) (Executive Producer)
Narcos (2015-Present) (Executive Producer, Showrunner)