20th Century Fox is officially owned by Disney, but not everything — or everyone — is coming with it. A day after the $71.3 billion acquisition was made official, one Fox imprint has already been axed: Fox 2000, which recently produced “Hidden Figures” and “The Hate U Give” and was previously responsible for producing the likes of “The Thin Red Line,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Walk the Line,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Joy,” and “Life of Pi,” among many others.
Fox 2000, overseen by Elizabeth Gabler, had been expected to make the transition; the future of her staff (six executives work under her) at Disney is uncertain.
Other layoffs that came down Thursday include Pam Levine, president of worldwide marketing, as well as co-president Kevin Campbell; domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson; international distribution president Andrew Cripps; and chief creative officer Tony Sella, who worked on more than 400 titles, including “Avatar” and the “X-Men” and “Planet of the Apes” franchises.
Also made redundant were Jim Fielding, president of consumer products and innovation for Fox Television Group and Twentieth Century Fox Film; Heather Phillips, executive VP and head of domestic publicity; Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development; Julie Rieger, chief data strategist and head of media; Twentieth Television president Greg Meidel; and 20th Century Fox corporate communications executive VP Dan Berger.
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Among the Fox projects slated for release this year are Fox 2000 production “The Woman in the Window” from Joe Wright, James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” and James Mangold’s “Ford v. Ferrari.” They will now be shepherded by different marketing executives amid the studio shake-up.
Fox Searchlight, which focuses on prestige pictures and has won four Best Picture Oscars (for “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman,” and “The Shape of Water”) is expected to continue normal operations under Disney. Last week, it released “The Aftermath,” with upcoming projects including “Tolkien,” “Jojo Rabbit,” and “Lucy in the Sky.”
It was estimated last year that, once the sale became official, Disney and its subsidiaries, which include Marvel and Pixar, would control 40 percent of the box office.