Disney and Fox Film Merger Could Be Heavy on Drama (Analysis)

Now comes the hard part. On Thursday, the Walt Disney Company unveiled the list of 20th Century Fox film executives who scored a visa to the Magic Kingdom. Once Disney wraps up its $71.3 billion acquisition of much of Rupert Murdoch’s media empir…

Now comes the hard part. On Thursday, the Walt Disney Company unveiled the list of 20th Century Fox film executives who scored a visa to the Magic Kingdom. Once Disney wraps up its $71.3 billion acquisition of much of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, Fox film vice-chairman Emma Watts, Fox 2000 head Elizabeth Gabler, Fox Searchlight […]

Disney Finalizes Film Studio Brass Under Alan Horn: Emma Watts Confirmed To Run Fox

As expected, 20th Century Fox Vice Chairman Emma Watts will continue leading the studio once it is absorbed by The Walt Disney Company. She’ll report directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a structure that Disney unveiled Thursday….

As expected, 20th Century Fox Vice Chairman Emma Watts will continue leading the studio once it is absorbed by The Walt Disney Company. She’ll report directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a structure that Disney unveiled Thursday. Joining Watts, as Deadline previously reported, in the new Disney structure are Fox Searchlight chiefs Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, as well as Fox 2000 president of production Elizabeth Gabler. Current 20th Century Fox…

Fox Executives Emma Watts, Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula to Join Disney Studio After Merger

The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday announced that Emma Watts, as well as several other Fox film executives, will make the move to Disney’s studio entertainment management team after the company’s deal to acquire a majority of Fox assets closes.

“We’re pleased that these talented executives will be joining our incredible team of studio leaders once the acquisition of 21st Century Fox is completed,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “Under Alan Horn’s leadership, Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm have reached unprecedented levels of creative and box-office success, and adding Fox’s impressive film brands and franchises to our studio will allow us to create even more appealing high-quality entertainment to delight audiences.”

Watts will report directly to Disney studio head Alan Horn and will serve as vice chairman for Twentieth Century Fox Film and president of production at Fox. Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula will stay on as co-chairmen for Fox Searchlight and will also report directly to Horn, along with Elizabeth Gabler, who will serve as president of production at Fox 2000.

Also Read: Peter Rice, Dana Walden to Lead Disney-ABC’s TV Networks and Studio After Fox Deal Closes

Disney laid out the executive landscape for its TV arm last week. The looming question had been what the crowded executive structure in film would look like. Though the studio announced who from Fox would join the new company, exactly how Disney would incorporate the Fox studio and its different banners was not made clear.

It’s also worth noting that as expected, current Fox film CEO Stacey Snider will not be joining the new company post-merger. What’s next on her plate is still unknown.

“The addition of these respected film groups under the umbrella of The Walt Disney Studios will create endless possibilities as we continue to deliver first-rate motion pictures to audiences around the world,” said Horn in a statement. “This is an experienced group of executives, and Alan Bergman and I look forward to welcoming them to our leadership ranks upon completion of the acquisition.”

Also Read: ‘The Mandalorian’: Taika Waititi, Rick Famuyiwa Among Directors for ‘Star Wars’ TV Show

Disney and Fox shareholders voted in July to approve the Mouse House’s $71.3 billion bid to buy the lion’s share of Fox’s entertainment assets. The deal is expected to close in early 2019, at which point the executive changes Disney laid out will take effect. Executives and rank and file employees at Fox have been in a state of uncertainty about their futures since the two companies agreed to the deal.

Fox and Disney had originally agreed on a $54.2 billion all-stock deal before Comcast proposed a $65 billion bid, forcing Disney to sweeten the pot. Comcast eventually dropped out of the running.

Here’s the list of executives reporting to Horn and Watts:

  • Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird, co-presidents, Fox Animation
  • Vanessa Morrison, president, Fox Family

The executives join Horn’s existing leadership team that includes:

  • Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios
  • Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production
  • Ed Catmull, president, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Pete Docter, chief creative officer, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Kevin Feige, president, Marvel Studios
  • Louis D’Esposito, co-president, Marvel Studios
  • Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm
  • Ken Bunt, president, Disney Music Group
  • Thomas Schumacher, president & producer, Disney Theatrical Group
Related stories from TheWrap:

Rupert Murdoch and Sons Pay Soars as Fox-Disney Deal Awaits Completion

Dana Walden Touts ‘Complete Independence’ of ‘New Fox’ After Disney Merger

Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday announced that Emma Watts, as well as several other Fox film executives, will make the move to Disney’s studio entertainment management team after the company’s deal to acquire a majority of Fox assets closes.

“We’re pleased that these talented executives will be joining our incredible team of studio leaders once the acquisition of 21st Century Fox is completed,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “Under Alan Horn’s leadership, Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm have reached unprecedented levels of creative and box-office success, and adding Fox’s impressive film brands and franchises to our studio will allow us to create even more appealing high-quality entertainment to delight audiences.”

Watts will report directly to Disney studio head Alan Horn and will serve as vice chairman for Twentieth Century Fox Film and president of production at Fox. Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula will stay on as co-chairmen for Fox Searchlight and will also report directly to Horn, along with Elizabeth Gabler, who will serve as president of production at Fox 2000.

Disney laid out the executive landscape for its TV arm last week. The looming question had been what the crowded executive structure in film would look like. Though the studio announced who from Fox would join the new company, exactly how Disney would incorporate the Fox studio and its different banners was not made clear.

It’s also worth noting that as expected, current Fox film CEO Stacey Snider will not be joining the new company post-merger. What’s next on her plate is still unknown.

“The addition of these respected film groups under the umbrella of The Walt Disney Studios will create endless possibilities as we continue to deliver first-rate motion pictures to audiences around the world,” said Horn in a statement. “This is an experienced group of executives, and Alan Bergman and I look forward to welcoming them to our leadership ranks upon completion of the acquisition.”

Disney and Fox shareholders voted in July to approve the Mouse House’s $71.3 billion bid to buy the lion’s share of Fox’s entertainment assets. The deal is expected to close in early 2019, at which point the executive changes Disney laid out will take effect. Executives and rank and file employees at Fox have been in a state of uncertainty about their futures since the two companies agreed to the deal.

Fox and Disney had originally agreed on a $54.2 billion all-stock deal before Comcast proposed a $65 billion bid, forcing Disney to sweeten the pot. Comcast eventually dropped out of the running.

Here’s the list of executives reporting to Horn and Watts:

  • Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird, co-presidents, Fox Animation
  • Vanessa Morrison, president, Fox Family

The executives join Horn’s existing leadership team that includes:

  • Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios
  • Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production
  • Ed Catmull, president, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Pete Docter, chief creative officer, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Kevin Feige, president, Marvel Studios
  • Louis D’Esposito, co-president, Marvel Studios
  • Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm
  • Ken Bunt, president, Disney Music Group
  • Thomas Schumacher, president & producer, Disney Theatrical Group
Related stories from TheWrap:

Rupert Murdoch and Sons Pay Soars as Fox-Disney Deal Awaits Completion

Dana Walden Touts 'Complete Independence' of 'New Fox' After Disney Merger

Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Emma Watts, Elizabeth Gabler, Fox Searchlight Heads Joining Disney

The Walt Disney Co. has unveiled the team of film executives it expects to import from 20th Century Fox. Twentieth Century Fox Film vice chairman Emma Watts, Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler, and Fox Searchlight co-heads Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley wil…

The Walt Disney Co. has unveiled the team of film executives it expects to import from 20th Century Fox. Twentieth Century Fox Film vice chairman Emma Watts, Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler, and Fox Searchlight co-heads Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley will be making the move to the Mouse House. As expected, 20th Century Fox […]

Disney-Fox Film Structure Coming Next: Alan Horn Atop Divisions, Streaming Big Priority

Now that Disney has set the hierarchy of Fox TV executives who’ll be part of the merged entities, next comes the film division. Sources said there shouldn’t be much surprise when an announcement is made as early as later this week.
Alan Hor…

Now that Disney has set the hierarchy of Fox TV executives who’ll be part of the merged entities, next comes the film division. Sources said there shouldn’t be much surprise when an announcement is made as early as later this week. Alan Horn, the veteran exec who was unceremoniously pushed out at Warner Bros and then came to Disney and stabilized static divisions that has led to an unparalleled run, will be top dog. Reporting to him will be Sean Bailey, the Walt Disney…

Greg Berlanti To Direct Jackie O-Infused ‘The Editor’ In New Overall Fox Pic Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has optioned the Steven Rowley novel The Editor, and Greg Berlanti has been set to direct the film and produce it through his Berlanti Productions. Rob Weisbach will also produce.  This will be the first new project under a new mult…

EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has optioned the Steven Rowley novel The Editor, and Greg Berlanti has been set to direct the film and produce it through his Berlanti Productions. Rob Weisbach will also produce.  This will be the first new project under a new multi-year first look feature deal 20th Century Fox has made for Berlanti Productions. Berlanti has developed a close relationship there with Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler, on the heels of the Berlanti-directed sleeper Love Sim…

‘Jumanji’ Author Chris Van Allsburg & Radar Pictures Set Overall Fox Deal

EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of the breakout success of Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, children’s book author Chris Van Allsburg and his producing partners William Teitler, Ted Field and Mike Weber have been staked to a production deal by 20th Century Fox. The aim is to generate new tent poles based on Van Allsburg’s titles, his future books and ideas currently in the works. Aside from Jumanji, which spawned the 1995 hit that was just successfully resuscitated by Sony and is…

EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of the breakout success of Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, children's book author Chris Van Allsburg and his producing partners William Teitler, Ted Field and Mike Weber have been staked to a production deal by 20th Century Fox. The aim is to generate new tent poles based on Van Allsburg’s titles, his future books and ideas currently in the works. Aside from Jumanji, which spawned the 1995 hit that was just successfully resuscitated by Sony and is…

Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider Cancels DC Trip to Console Staff After Disney News

20th Century Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider is staying home to rally her troops.

After Thursday’s announcement that Disney would acquire her division, in addition to the Fox TV studio and other assets, Snider canceled a planned trip to Washington, D.C., for the scheduled premiere of the studio’s awards player “The Post,” an individual familiar with the matter told TheWrap.

Snider is passing on the invite-only event and remaining in L.A. to comfort a rattled staff with a series of meetings and informal talks instead of joining director Steven Spielberg and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

“Her door has been open all day,” the individual said, adding that in one meeting she said her division will continue to operate as usual with “high-level excellence and swagger” during a transition that’s expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete.

Also Read: Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Fox Film President of Production Emma Watts and distribution chief Chris Aronson are also giving pep talks, another insider said.

Larger town hall meetings are being held throughout the day, TheWrap previously reported, hosted by 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice.

While everyone from lot producers to the home entertainment staff are worries over the fate of their jobs to the TheWrap, there are no indicators the acquisition will be a rush job.

For employees who work on the Fox lot, “life won’t be that different. If you come to work here, that’s not going to change anytime soon,” a third individual familiar with transition plans said.

Also Read: Fox Film Chief Stacey Snider Says Netflix Offers Not ‘One Distinct Advantage’ to Filmmakers

Once the deal is complete, Disney will be leasing a space on the Fox lot for the employees and productions it is acquiring, an agreement that will span seven years, TheWrap reported on Thursday.

Snider assumed her top position in last fall, succeeding Jim Gianopulos, who now runs Paramount.

A veteran executive, Snider’s top priorities in the coming days are the release of the Hugh Jackman movie “The Greatest Showman,” the wide rollout of the aforementioned Pentagon Papers drama “The Post,” Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow” and a sequel to Ryan Reynolds’ perverse superhero smash “Deadpool.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Disney-Fox Merger Is ‘Bad for Families,’ Says Parents Television Council

Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Behind the Disney-Fox Merger: 7 Things We Still Need to Know – and 3 We Already Do

20th Century Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider is staying home to rally her troops.

After Thursday’s announcement that Disney would acquire her division, in addition to the Fox TV studio and other assets, Snider canceled a planned trip to Washington, D.C., for the scheduled premiere of the studio’s awards player “The Post,” an individual familiar with the matter told TheWrap.

Snider is passing on the invite-only event and remaining in L.A. to comfort a rattled staff with a series of meetings and informal talks instead of joining director Steven Spielberg and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

“Her door has been open all day,” the individual said, adding that in one meeting she said her division will continue to operate as usual with “high-level excellence and swagger” during a transition that’s expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete.

Fox Film President of Production Emma Watts and distribution chief Chris Aronson are also giving pep talks, another insider said.

Larger town hall meetings are being held throughout the day, TheWrap previously reported, hosted by 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice.

While everyone from lot producers to the home entertainment staff are worries over the fate of their jobs to the TheWrap, there are no indicators the acquisition will be a rush job.

For employees who work on the Fox lot, “life won’t be that different. If you come to work here, that’s not going to change anytime soon,” a third individual familiar with transition plans said.

Once the deal is complete, Disney will be leasing a space on the Fox lot for the employees and productions it is acquiring, an agreement that will span seven years, TheWrap reported on Thursday.

Snider assumed her top position in last fall, succeeding Jim Gianopulos, who now runs Paramount.

A veteran executive, Snider’s top priorities in the coming days are the release of the Hugh Jackman movie “The Greatest Showman,” the wide rollout of the aforementioned Pentagon Papers drama “The Post,” Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow” and a sequel to Ryan Reynolds’ perverse superhero smash “Deadpool.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Disney-Fox Merger Is 'Bad for Families,' Says Parents Television Council

Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Behind the Disney-Fox Merger: 7 Things We Still Need to Know – and 3 We Already Do

Behind the Disney-Fox Merger: 7 Things We Still Need to Know – and 3 We Already Do

The merger of 21st Century Fox’s main entertainment assets with The Walt Disney Company announced on Thusday is one of those deals that come around once in a generation.

It signals a major change in the balance of power in Hollywood, as well as serves as a reflection of the seismic shift that has happened over the past decade with the rise of technology platforms.

Also Read: Disney Acquires 21st Century Fox Assets for $52.4 Billion

WaxWord will weigh in on that a bit later, but in the meantime, here are seven questions that weigh on our minds with this mega-merger:

1. What happens to top executives?
Dozens of top-notch executives are thrown into limbo by the merger, a talent pool the likes of which has not been available for decades.

Will streaming giants Amazon and Netflix swoop in to poach Fox executives? I think yes. Among the chief targets are studio chief Stacey Snider, production chief Emma Watts, Fox 2000 lead Elizabeth Gabler, marketing veterans Pam Levine or Julie Rieger — all on the movie side alone.

And it’s anybody’s guess the next corporate home for the unique management and programming skills of Dana Walden and Gary Newman — partners of two decades — not to mention the couple dozen of top rated television chiefs who work for them.

2. What about Peter Rice?
Rice, president of 21st Century Fox as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group, is one of the top executives at Fox.

He has been Rupert Murdoch’s favored non-biological son for two decades, often seen as someone who could lead the company. Will he be left in the cold, or groomed to succeed Bob Iger?

3. What exactly happens to Hulu?
Hulu is sticking around. Iger has made clear that whatever Disney’s new streaming service is — it’s not this. So now Disney will own a 60 percent stake in Hulu — the combined stake of Disney and Fox — and will need to decide about the future of the streaming service.

The streaming service has had some significant success in the past year but has also been plagued by infighting among the owner-parents — which also include Comcast (through NBCUniversal) and Time Warner (through Turner Broadcasting).

Also Read: Hulu Won’t Morph Into Disney’s New Streaming Service, Bob Iger Says

4. Does Fox Searchlight have a future?
The prized indie film studio, which won Best Picture with “12 Years a Slave” and has a major Oscar contender this year with “The Shape of Water,” is a source of prestige but not great revenue or profits at Fox.

Will Disney keep it as a standalone label after its rocky 17-year experience with Miramax, which it sold in 2010? Will it be relegated to making movies for the streaming service?

5. Will Disney have an appetite R-rated fare?
Fox has built the model for R-rated superhero action with “Deadpool,” and fan-friendly horror fare like Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” Can this comfortably live with the Disney brand of filmed entertainment? Fans are going to hope so.

Also Read: X-Men, Fantastic Four Fans Rejoice at Prospect of Mega-Avengers Movies With Disney-Fox Merger

6. Will this media mega-merger pass muster with Donald Trump’s regulators?
With the Trump-era Department of Justice suing AT&T over its planned acquisition of Time-Warner, many will want to see the same scrutiny of this mega-deal.

It seems Rupert Murdoch’s friendship with Donald Trump might smooth the path, although many will be watching the space closely. (Personally I see zero chance of Donald doing anything to discomfit Rupert’s plans. He needs Fox News too much.)

7. How will exhibitors react?
This move further weakens theatrical exhibition, since it creates fewer sources of movie content and thus diminishes their leverage. The struggling chains are now being confronted with the pressure of MoviePass — a flat fee subscription service — and now the overwhelming force of Disney plus Fox.

The three things we know are:
• Hulu is staying put for the moment.

• X-Men and the Fantastic Four are likely to hook up with other Marvel superheroes in the not-too-distant future.

• Rupert and Donald will stay tight buddies, and Bob Iger ain’t running for president next cycle.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Writers Guild West Warns Fox-Disney Merger Will Be at ‘Expense of Creators’

Why the Disney-Fox Deal Won’t Be Good for Nerds, or Anyone Else (Commentary)

X-Men, Fantastic Four Fans Rejoice at Prospect of Mega-Avengers Movies With Disney-Fox Merger

The merger of 21st Century Fox’s main entertainment assets with The Walt Disney Company announced on Thusday is one of those deals that come around once in a generation.

It signals a major change in the balance of power in Hollywood, as well as serves as a reflection of the seismic shift that has happened over the past decade with the rise of technology platforms.

WaxWord will weigh in on that a bit later, but in the meantime, here are seven questions that weigh on our minds with this mega-merger:

1. What happens to top executives?
Dozens of top-notch executives are thrown into limbo by the merger, a talent pool the likes of which has not been available for decades.

Will streaming giants Amazon and Netflix swoop in to poach Fox executives? I think yes. Among the chief targets are studio chief Stacey Snider, production chief Emma Watts, Fox 2000 lead Elizabeth Gabler, marketing veterans Pam Levine or Julie Rieger — all on the movie side alone.

And it’s anybody’s guess the next corporate home for the unique management and programming skills of Dana Walden and Gary Newman — partners of two decades — not to mention the couple dozen of top rated television chiefs who work for them.

2. What about Peter Rice?
Rice, president of 21st Century Fox as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group, is one of the top executives at Fox.

He has been Rupert Murdoch’s favored non-biological son for two decades, often seen as someone who could lead the company. Will he be left in the cold, or groomed to succeed Bob Iger?

3. What exactly happens to Hulu?
Hulu is sticking around. Iger has made clear that whatever Disney’s new streaming service is — it’s not this. So now Disney will own a 60 percent stake in Hulu — the combined stake of Disney and Fox — and will need to decide about the future of the streaming service.

The streaming service has had some significant success in the past year but has also been plagued by infighting among the owner-parents — which also include Comcast (through NBCUniversal) and Time Warner (through Turner Broadcasting).

4. Does Fox Searchlight have a future?
The prized indie film studio, which won Best Picture with “12 Years a Slave” and has a major Oscar contender this year with “The Shape of Water,” is a source of prestige but not great revenue or profits at Fox.

Will Disney keep it as a standalone label after its rocky 17-year experience with Miramax, which it sold in 2010? Will it be relegated to making movies for the streaming service?

5. Will Disney have an appetite R-rated fare?
Fox has built the model for R-rated superhero action with “Deadpool,” and fan-friendly horror fare like Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” Can this comfortably live with the Disney brand of filmed entertainment? Fans are going to hope so.

6. Will this media mega-merger pass muster with Donald Trump’s regulators?
With the Trump-era Department of Justice suing AT&T over its planned acquisition of Time-Warner, many will want to see the same scrutiny of this mega-deal.

It seems Rupert Murdoch’s friendship with Donald Trump might smooth the path, although many will be watching the space closely. (Personally I see zero chance of Donald doing anything to discomfit Rupert’s plans. He needs Fox News too much.)

7. How will exhibitors react?
This move further weakens theatrical exhibition, since it creates fewer sources of movie content and thus diminishes their leverage. The struggling chains are now being confronted with the pressure of MoviePass — a flat fee subscription service — and now the overwhelming force of Disney plus Fox.

The three things we know are:
• Hulu is staying put for the moment.

• X-Men and the Fantastic Four are likely to hook up with other Marvel superheroes in the not-too-distant future.

• Rupert and Donald will stay tight buddies, and Bob Iger ain’t running for president next cycle.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Writers Guild West Warns Fox-Disney Merger Will Be at 'Expense of Creators'

Why the Disney-Fox Deal Won't Be Good for Nerds, or Anyone Else (Commentary)

X-Men, Fantastic Four Fans Rejoice at Prospect of Mega-Avengers Movies With Disney-Fox Merger

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Director Bryan Singer: Fox Fired Me Over Sick Parent

Fired “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer is not copping to charges of bad behavior on the set of his Freddie Mercury biopic, instead saying 20th Century Fox booted him after he prioritized the health of an ailing parent over his film.

“I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first,” Singer said through his lawyer Andrew Brettler of Lavely & Singer.

Production on the film stopped on December 1, with a Singer rep saying a family health matter pulled him away. Fox confirmed the unplanned hiatus citing only Singer’s “unexpected unavailability.” When TheWrap reported on Singer’s firing earlier on Monday, numerous insiders said Singer was exhibiting a string of troubling behavior stemming mostly from prolonged absences and lateness.

Also Read: Bryan Singer Fired From Freddie Mercury Biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

“I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services,” he said.

Representatives for 20th Century Fox had no comment on Singer’s statement. Both Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider and Production President Emma Watts warned Singer that bad behavior would not be tolerated on set, THR reported Monday.

In his late breaking statement Singer also denied reports of a creative clash with his star Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”), who plays Freddie Mercury in the film.

“Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving,” Singer wrote.

The studio is expected to name a new director in the coming days. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still on track for a December 2018 release.

Read the full statement:

Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control. Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.

Fired “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer is not copping to charges of bad behavior on the set of his Freddie Mercury biopic, instead saying 20th Century Fox booted him after he prioritized the health of an ailing parent over his film.

“I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first,” Singer said through his lawyer Andrew Brettler of Lavely & Singer.

Production on the film stopped on December 1, with a Singer rep saying a family health matter pulled him away. Fox confirmed the unplanned hiatus citing only Singer’s “unexpected unavailability.” When TheWrap reported on Singer’s firing earlier on Monday, numerous insiders said Singer was exhibiting a string of troubling behavior stemming mostly from prolonged absences and lateness.

“I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services,” he said.

Representatives for 20th Century Fox had no comment on Singer’s statement. Both Fox Film CEO Stacey Snider and Production President Emma Watts warned Singer that bad behavior would not be tolerated on set, THR reported Monday.

In his late breaking statement Singer also denied reports of a creative clash with his star Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”), who plays Freddie Mercury in the film.

“Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving,” Singer wrote.

The studio is expected to name a new director in the coming days. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still on track for a December 2018 release.

Read the full statement:

Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control. Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.

How to Kill the Culture of Sexual Harassment? Start by Putting More Women in Charge

As Hollywood grapples with the ugliness of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual misconduct allegations, top female activists are thinking about how the industry can expose — and eradicate — a culture that enabled the movie mogul.

Advocates for women in show business told TheWrap that future incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment can be avoided if the industry hires more women, creates a safe space for women to speak out about their claims, and increases the penalties for this kind of behavior.

“We definitely believe the time for change is now,” Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film in Los Angeles, told TheWrap. “It really is about changing the culture so this kind of behavior is not tolerated on any level. One of the most alarming things is the number of people who had awareness of it but felt disempowered to do something. That’s what has to change.”

Also Read: Megyn Kelly Talks Harvey Weinstein in First Appearance on MSNBC – and Dings Fox News (Video)

Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), isn’t optimistic about singular cases leading to widespread change, however.

“I see it as a problem of the power structure and the power disparity between men and women where you have an industry led almost entirely by men, and it’s going to be difficult for that culture to have a gendered approach to the way it operates,” she told TheWrap.

At the top of the Hollywood studio system, there are only two women in power positions out of the six majors. Donna Langley runs Universal Pictures along with Jeff Shell and Ron Meyer, and Fox Film Group Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider spearheads a predominantly female team that includes vice chairman Emma Watts, Fox Searchlight president Nancy Utley and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.

It’s still a male-dominated industry, and the board at The Weinstein Company, for example, was all-male. The board is now actively searching for female board members, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

“One of the main goals of the work we do [at IWMF] is to increase the parity — which should be 50 percent — at all levels, and we do that by lessening discrimination and increasing inclusivity,” said Schaffer. “The more we as an industry are acknowledging the both conscious and unconscious bias, the more we are working to reduce it and the less likely sexual harassment is to occur.”

Muñoz agrees: “One of the best ways to address these problems is to get more women in the highest levels of industries so there is a real culture change so they themselves are in a position of power and are not in the position to have men elevate them.”

She added: “It’s embarrassing when you look through websites and you see all these male boards. People should be embarrassed to have that kind of representation … These companies need to get with the times and have more representation on their boards.”

Melissa Silverstein, the founder of Women and Hollywood, added that it’s on men to “interrupt this behavior.” She said “layers and layers of toxic masculinity” in Hollywood have “created this normalization of sexism.”

“This behavior is not coming from women,” Silverstein told TheWrap. “This stuff is on men and this toxic masculinity is on men. If they want the world to be different for their daughters, they are going to have to figure out how to change the culture … I believe that fighting the good fight is what you should be doing. We have had so many things change in our world in our lifetime, so we must believe this is possible because Hollywood has such an effect around the world. We’re so caught up in this toxicity.”

Also Read: Actress Lea Seydoux Says She Was Harassed by Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Had to Defend Myself’

“It can’t fall on women to put themselves on the line,” agreed Muñoz. “They are not the ones that are doing the wrong. There has to be a culture of, if you are not speaking, you are equally culpable. You are equally a pig.”

When several women stepped up to accuse ScreenJunkies creator Andy Signore of sexual assault earlier this month, one woman said she informed the human resources department of Defy Media, ScreenJunkies’ parent company, two months before she went public. “All they’ve done is protect him,” she said. (The company has fired Signore.)

Muñoz, Schaffer and Silverstein say that companies need to increase penalties against men who sexually harass or commit sexual assault. She said victims also need a safe space to report men who target them.

“There are some things that could lead to change, which includes creating spaces in the workplace where there is a real mechanism for reporting these instances and where people feel safe to do so,” Muñoz said. “The problem that women face is the question of backlash and being labeled ‘difficult,’ or not being believed, or shut out from the industry.”

“Studios and networks have sexual harassment trainings and hotlines, but they need to increase the penalties and I think we also have to increase penalties to those who are complicit and facilitating this kind of behavior,” added Schaffer.

“People need recourse,” Silverstein said. “If HR is not going to take sexual harassment claims seriously, you have to have other recourse … Women don’t say this for their own good — it’s incredibly hard to say this stuff out loud. If people are really feeling that things can change, they need to change their policies and hire people that are reliable … There must be recourse for this behavior. It cannot be the norm — we must change the norm.”

Silverstein and Schaffer believe that Donald Trump and his explicit comments from a year ago have catapulted sexual misconduct accusations to the forefront, and have encouraged more women to speak up about their abuse experiences with powerful men.

“Donald Trump has really led women to take their power in a way that I’m sure would not have happened in Hillary Clinton would’ve been elected, because our rights wouldn’t have been assaulted on a daily basis,” said Silverstein.

“I think it’s a little bit related to Donald Trump, but I also think it’s about the level of reporting that occurred in the New York Times and the New Yorker,” said Schaffer.

Muñoz wishes the Trump “Access Hollywood” tape had had much more of an impact. 

“I don’t think people are speaking out in retaliation against the Trump world,” she said. “He said all of those things and he still got elected. People don’t care.”

Will the casting couch culture ever disappear in Hollywood?

“I feel like the casting couch culture is a word for all the toxicity in Hollywood,” said Silverstein. “We can be specific about sexual favors, but it’s also about the sexualization of women when they go for auditions… The onus is not on the women, it’s on the people who run these companies.”

“We all have to make an agreement, men and women — we’re not tolerating this kind of behavior,” added Schaffer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Seth MacFarlane Says His Harvey Weinstein Oscars Jab Came From ‘a Place of Loathing and Anger’

Motion Picture Academy to Discuss Harvey Weinstein’s ‘Repugnant’ Actions at Special Meeting

Jamie Lee Curtis Shares Her Own Sexual Harassment Story Amid Harvey Weinstein Scandal

As Hollywood grapples with the ugliness of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual misconduct allegations, top female activists are thinking about how the industry can expose — and eradicate — a culture that enabled the movie mogul.

Advocates for women in show business told TheWrap that future incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment can be avoided if the industry hires more women, creates a safe space for women to speak out about their claims, and increases the penalties for this kind of behavior.

“We definitely believe the time for change is now,” Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film in Los Angeles, told TheWrap. “It really is about changing the culture so this kind of behavior is not tolerated on any level. One of the most alarming things is the number of people who had awareness of it but felt disempowered to do something. That’s what has to change.”

Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), isn’t optimistic about singular cases leading to widespread change, however.

“I see it as a problem of the power structure and the power disparity between men and women where you have an industry led almost entirely by men, and it’s going to be difficult for that culture to have a gendered approach to the way it operates,” she told TheWrap.

At the top of the Hollywood studio system, there are only two women in power positions out of the six majors. Donna Langley runs Universal Pictures along with Jeff Shell and Ron Meyer, and Fox Film Group Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider spearheads a predominantly female team that includes vice chairman Emma Watts, Fox Searchlight president Nancy Utley and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.

It’s still a male-dominated industry, and the board at The Weinstein Company, for example, was all-male. The board is now actively searching for female board members, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

“One of the main goals of the work we do [at IWMF] is to increase the parity — which should be 50 percent — at all levels, and we do that by lessening discrimination and increasing inclusivity,” said Schaffer. “The more we as an industry are acknowledging the both conscious and unconscious bias, the more we are working to reduce it and the less likely sexual harassment is to occur.”

Muñoz agrees: “One of the best ways to address these problems is to get more women in the highest levels of industries so there is a real culture change so they themselves are in a position of power and are not in the position to have men elevate them.”

She added: “It’s embarrassing when you look through websites and you see all these male boards. People should be embarrassed to have that kind of representation … These companies need to get with the times and have more representation on their boards.”

Melissa Silverstein, the founder of Women and Hollywood, added that it’s on men to “interrupt this behavior.” She said “layers and layers of toxic masculinity” in Hollywood have “created this normalization of sexism.”

“This behavior is not coming from women,” Silverstein told TheWrap. “This stuff is on men and this toxic masculinity is on men. If they want the world to be different for their daughters, they are going to have to figure out how to change the culture … I believe that fighting the good fight is what you should be doing. We have had so many things change in our world in our lifetime, so we must believe this is possible because Hollywood has such an effect around the world. We’re so caught up in this toxicity.”

“It can’t fall on women to put themselves on the line,” agreed Muñoz. “They are not the ones that are doing the wrong. There has to be a culture of, if you are not speaking, you are equally culpable. You are equally a pig.”

When several women stepped up to accuse ScreenJunkies creator Andy Signore of sexual assault earlier this month, one woman said she informed the human resources department of Defy Media, ScreenJunkies’ parent company, two months before she went public. “All they’ve done is protect him,” she said. (The company has fired Signore.)

Muñoz, Schaffer and Silverstein say that companies need to increase penalties against men who sexually harass or commit sexual assault. She said victims also need a safe space to report men who target them.

“There are some things that could lead to change, which includes creating spaces in the workplace where there is a real mechanism for reporting these instances and where people feel safe to do so,” Muñoz said. “The problem that women face is the question of backlash and being labeled ‘difficult,’ or not being believed, or shut out from the industry.”

“Studios and networks have sexual harassment trainings and hotlines, but they need to increase the penalties and I think we also have to increase penalties to those who are complicit and facilitating this kind of behavior,” added Schaffer.

“People need recourse,” Silverstein said. “If HR is not going to take sexual harassment claims seriously, you have to have other recourse … Women don’t say this for their own good — it’s incredibly hard to say this stuff out loud. If people are really feeling that things can change, they need to change their policies and hire people that are reliable … There must be recourse for this behavior. It cannot be the norm — we must change the norm.”

Silverstein and Schaffer believe that Donald Trump and his explicit comments from a year ago have catapulted sexual misconduct accusations to the forefront, and have encouraged more women to speak up about their abuse experiences with powerful men.

“Donald Trump has really led women to take their power in a way that I’m sure would not have happened in Hillary Clinton would’ve been elected, because our rights wouldn’t have been assaulted on a daily basis,” said Silverstein.

“I think it’s a little bit related to Donald Trump, but I also think it’s about the level of reporting that occurred in the New York Times and the New Yorker,” said Schaffer.

Muñoz wishes the Trump “Access Hollywood” tape had had much more of an impact. 

“I don’t think people are speaking out in retaliation against the Trump world,” she said. “He said all of those things and he still got elected. People don’t care.”

Will the casting couch culture ever disappear in Hollywood?

“I feel like the casting couch culture is a word for all the toxicity in Hollywood,” said Silverstein. “We can be specific about sexual favors, but it’s also about the sexualization of women when they go for auditions… The onus is not on the women, it’s on the people who run these companies.”

“We all have to make an agreement, men and women — we’re not tolerating this kind of behavior,” added Schaffer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Seth MacFarlane Says His Harvey Weinstein Oscars Jab Came From 'a Place of Loathing and Anger'

Motion Picture Academy to Discuss Harvey Weinstein's 'Repugnant' Actions at Special Meeting

Jamie Lee Curtis Shares Her Own Sexual Harassment Story Amid Harvey Weinstein Scandal

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’s Matthew Vaughn On Avoiding Franchise Fatigue & His Trilogy Ambition – Q&A

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline caught up with Matthew Vaughn this week, right after he premiered Kingsman: The Golden Circle at the London Film Festival and endured a numbing onslaught of repetitive junket interviews. The follow-up to an audacious spy film he and writing partner Jane Goldman adapted from the Mark Millar comic book, Kingsman: The Golden Circle ups the ante on its formula of 007-caliber action mixed with quirky characters and R-rated irreverence. Jeff Bridges, Halle…

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline caught up with Matthew Vaughn this week, right after he premiered Kingsman: The Golden Circle at the London Film Festival and endured a numbing onslaught of repetitive junket interviews. The follow-up to an audacious spy film he and writing partner Jane Goldman adapted from the Mark Millar comic book, Kingsman: The Golden Circle ups the ante on its formula of 007-caliber action mixed with quirky characters and R-rated irreverence. Jeff Bridges, Halle…

20th Century Fox Film Names Jennifer Peterson Global Publicity EVP

Jennifer Peterson has departed Lionsgate to claim a top position at the Stacey Snider-era 20th Century Fox Film.

Peterson has been named Executive Vice President of Global Theatrical Publicity, a role created for her in which she’ll handle worldwide rollout for all Fox releases.

Peterson will report to Pam Levine, 20th’s President of Global Marketing. She was with Lionsgate for six years, most recently in the role of Senior Vice President in publicity.

Also Read: Stacey Snider Names Emma Watts Vice Chairman of 20th Century Fox Film

“Having someone with Jennifer’s expertise and experience join our incredible publicity team in this worldwide strategic role will be a massive benefit not only to our slate, but to our company as a whole,” Levine said in a statement.

Peterson most recently served on campaigns for Best Picture Winner “La La Land,” and oversaw the considerable effort of “The Hunger Games” franchise. She’ll assume her post on March 13.

Prior to Lionsgate, Peterson spent over a decade at Walt Disney Studios.

Read the full announcement:

Twentieth Century Fox Film (TCFF) today announced that Jennifer Peterson will join the Company as Executive Vice President of Global Theatrical Publicity, a newly-created role in which she will lead the studio’s publicity team on a global basis.

Ms. Peterson’s appointment is effective March 13, and she will be based at the studio’s Century City headquarters, reporting to Pam Levine, TCFF’s President of Global Marketing.

“As we continue to globalize our marketing and publicity efforts across all our films, having someone with Jennifer’s expertise and experience join our incredible publicity team in this worldwide strategic role will be a massive benefit not only to our slate, but to our company as a whole,” said Levine.

Peterson joins TCFF from Lionsgate, where she served since 2011 in a variety of roles, most recently as SVP of Worldwide Publicity, where she ran day-to-day operations across all of the studio’s film campaigns, including publicity and awards efforts for titles such as THE HUNGER GAMES and JOHN WICK franchises, as well as LA LA LAND, among others. Prior to Lionsgate, Peterson spent more than a decade at Walt Disney Studios, driving global publicity campaigns for massive releases such as TOY STORY 3 and ALICE IN WONDERLAND. She began her career at a pair of publicity agencies, Allied McDonald Entertainment and Publicis Dialog.

Related stories from TheWrap:

20th Century Fox Apologizes for ‘Cure for Wellness’ Fake News Stunt: ‘We Got It Wrong’

Stacey Snider Names Emma Watts Vice Chairman of 20th Century Fox Film

‘Lion,’ ’20th Century Women’ Roar in Expanded Release Ahead of Oscar Nominations

Jennifer Peterson has departed Lionsgate to claim a top position at the Stacey Snider-era 20th Century Fox Film.

Peterson has been named Executive Vice President of Global Theatrical Publicity, a role created for her in which she’ll handle worldwide rollout for all Fox releases.

Peterson will report to Pam Levine, 20th’s President of Global Marketing. She was with Lionsgate for six years, most recently in the role of Senior Vice President in publicity.

“Having someone with Jennifer’s expertise and experience join our incredible publicity team in this worldwide strategic role will be a massive benefit not only to our slate, but to our company as a whole,” Levine said in a statement.

Peterson most recently served on campaigns for Best Picture Winner “La La Land,” and oversaw the considerable effort of “The Hunger Games” franchise. She’ll assume her post on March 13.

Prior to Lionsgate, Peterson spent over a decade at Walt Disney Studios.

Read the full announcement:

Twentieth Century Fox Film (TCFF) today announced that Jennifer Peterson will join the Company as Executive Vice President of Global Theatrical Publicity, a newly-created role in which she will lead the studio’s publicity team on a global basis.

Ms. Peterson’s appointment is effective March 13, and she will be based at the studio’s Century City headquarters, reporting to Pam Levine, TCFF’s President of Global Marketing.

“As we continue to globalize our marketing and publicity efforts across all our films, having someone with Jennifer’s expertise and experience join our incredible publicity team in this worldwide strategic role will be a massive benefit not only to our slate, but to our company as a whole,” said Levine.

Peterson joins TCFF from Lionsgate, where she served since 2011 in a variety of roles, most recently as SVP of Worldwide Publicity, where she ran day-to-day operations across all of the studio’s film campaigns, including publicity and awards efforts for titles such as THE HUNGER GAMES and JOHN WICK franchises, as well as LA LA LAND, among others. Prior to Lionsgate, Peterson spent more than a decade at Walt Disney Studios, driving global publicity campaigns for massive releases such as TOY STORY 3 and ALICE IN WONDERLAND. She began her career at a pair of publicity agencies, Allied McDonald Entertainment and Publicis Dialog.

Related stories from TheWrap:

20th Century Fox Apologizes for 'Cure for Wellness' Fake News Stunt: 'We Got It Wrong'

Stacey Snider Names Emma Watts Vice Chairman of 20th Century Fox Film

'Lion,' '20th Century Women' Roar in Expanded Release Ahead of Oscar Nominations

Universal Promotes Megan Bendis to Executive Vice President in National Publicity

Universal Pictures has named Megan Bendis an Executive Vice President in National Publicity, the studio announced Tuesday.

Bendis will report to Michael Moses, Co-President of Worldwide Marketing. She’ll oversee theatrical publicity efforts for broadcast, print and photography across teams in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto — as well as advise on numerous other departments like home entertainment and events.

“Megan is a veteran of this close-knit department and has turned into such a shining star; it’s especially gratifying to see her earn the opportunity to lead it,” Moses said in a statement.

Also Read: Stacey Snider Names Emma Watts Vice Chairman of 20th Century Fox Film

“She’s who you want at the wheel: a dexterous publicist, a disarming diplomat and a charismatic collaborator, someone who creates the good stuff and isn’t daunted when it sometimes gets tough,” he added.

Bendis previously served as a publicity VP on Universal’s Blumhouse slate (“The Purge” franchise), as well as tentpoles like the “Pitch Perfect” films and the “50 Shades of Grey” series. She’s been with the studio since 1999.

Universal Pictures has named Megan Bendis an Executive Vice President in National Publicity, the studio announced Tuesday.

Bendis will report to Michael Moses, Co-President of Worldwide Marketing. She’ll oversee theatrical publicity efforts for broadcast, print and photography across teams in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto — as well as advise on numerous other departments like home entertainment and events.

“Megan is a veteran of this close-knit department and has turned into such a shining star; it’s especially gratifying to see her earn the opportunity to lead it,” Moses said in a statement.

“She’s who you want at the wheel: a dexterous publicist, a disarming diplomat and a charismatic collaborator, someone who creates the good stuff and isn’t daunted when it sometimes gets tough,” he added.

Bendis previously served as a publicity VP on Universal’s Blumhouse slate (“The Purge” franchise), as well as tentpoles like the “Pitch Perfect” films and the “50 Shades of Grey” series. She’s been with the studio since 1999.

Emma Watts Promoted to 20th Century Fox Film Vice Chairman

Emma Watts has been promoted to vice chairman of 20th Century Fox Film, the studio announced on Thursday. Watts will continue to serve as production president, a post she has had since 2007. The promotion clears up Watts’ status at the company, a position that was in question after Stacey Snider took over as its… Read more »

Emma Watts has been promoted to vice chairman of 20th Century Fox Film, the studio announced on Thursday. Watts will continue to serve as production president, a post she has had since 2007. The promotion clears up Watts’ status at the company, a position that was in question after Stacey Snider took over as its... Read more »

Stacey Snider Names Emma Watts Vice Chairman of 20th Century Fox Film

Emma Watts has been promoted to the role of Vice Chairman at 20th Century Fox Film, studio Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider said Thursday.

Watts has served as President of Production since 2007. In her new role, which she’ll assume immediately, the executive will handle a restructured film group that adds postproduction, visual effects and music to her physical production oversight.

When Snider assumed her role from former Fox Film head Jim Gianopulos last September, many wondered what a new dynamic with Snider, Watts and Fox 2000 head Elizabeth Gabler would look like.

Also Read: Inside the ‘Deadpool 2’ Fight Over ‘Two Totally Different Movies’ (Exclusive)

While numerous industry insiders at the time speculated about a possible personality clash, the Thursday announcement was full of mutual admiration.

“Emma’s work over the past 20 years speaks for itself — she’s simply the best in the industry,” Snider said in a statement. “On a personal level, I am thrilled to have her in this new role, one that not only enables us to work more closely together, but also expands her scope so we as a company can take full advantage of her talents.”

Watts said she was excited to take on more responsibility and incredibly grateful for the continuing opportunity to work with the most creative and dedicated people in the business,” adding in a “special thank you to Stacey for the trust and confidence she has placed in me with this new role.”

Each domestic arm of the Fox Film group has a woman at its head, a bellwether in a town plagued by gender disparity in leadership. Vanessa Morrison remains at the top of Fox Animation, and will now report to both Watts and Snider.

Also Read: Stacey Snider’s Fox Takeover May Mean Personality Clash With Top Execs, Insiders Say

Gabler remains the head of speciality label Fox 2000, and reports directly to Snider. Fox Searchlight is headed up by Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula.

Watts has over 100 films under her belt at the studio, supervised by James and Lachlan Murdoch on behalf of parent company News Corp.

Her recent victory laps include “Deadpool,” “The Martian” and “Gone Girl.” Her upcoming films include the “Kingsman” sequel with new addition Channing Tatum, and a highly anticipated remake of “Murder on the Orient Express” from director Kenneth Branagh.

Prior to Fox, Watts worked wth director Oliver Stone and mogul Russell Simmons on his Def Jams Pictures.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stacey Snider’s Fox Takeover May Mean Personality Clash With Top Execs, Insiders Say

Stacey Snider to Succeed Jim Gianopulos as Fox Film CEO in 2017

Fox’s Stacey Snider Predicts Shrinking Film Release Windows in Talk With UTA’s Jeremy Zimmer

Emma Watts has been promoted to the role of Vice Chairman at 20th Century Fox Film, studio Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider said Thursday.

Watts has served as President of Production since 2007. In her new role, which she’ll assume immediately, the executive will handle a restructured film group that adds postproduction, visual effects and music to her physical production oversight.

When Snider assumed her role from former Fox Film head Jim Gianopulos last September, many wondered what a new dynamic with Snider, Watts and Fox 2000 head Elizabeth Gabler would look like.

While numerous industry insiders at the time speculated about a possible personality clash, the Thursday announcement was full of mutual admiration.

“Emma’s work over the past 20 years speaks for itself — she’s simply the best in the industry,” Snider said in a statement. “On a personal level, I am thrilled to have her in this new role, one that not only enables us to work more closely together, but also expands her scope so we as a company can take full advantage of her talents.”

Watts said she was excited to take on more responsibility and incredibly grateful for the continuing opportunity to work with the most creative and dedicated people in the business,” adding in a “special thank you to Stacey for the trust and confidence she has placed in me with this new role.”

Each domestic arm of the Fox Film group has a woman at its head, a bellwether in a town plagued by gender disparity in leadership. Vanessa Morrison remains at the top of Fox Animation, and will now report to both Watts and Snider.

Gabler remains the head of speciality label Fox 2000, and reports directly to Snider. Fox Searchlight is headed up by Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula.

Watts has over 100 films under her belt at the studio, supervised by James and Lachlan Murdoch on behalf of parent company News Corp.

Her recent victory laps include “Deadpool,” “The Martian” and “Gone Girl.” Her upcoming films include the “Kingsman” sequel with new addition Channing Tatum, and a highly anticipated remake of “Murder on the Orient Express” from director Kenneth Branagh.

Prior to Fox, Watts worked wth director Oliver Stone and mogul Russell Simmons on his Def Jams Pictures.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stacey Snider's Fox Takeover May Mean Personality Clash With Top Execs, Insiders Say

Stacey Snider to Succeed Jim Gianopulos as Fox Film CEO in 2017

Fox's Stacey Snider Predicts Shrinking Film Release Windows in Talk With UTA's Jeremy Zimmer

Stacey Snider Elevates Emma Watts To Fox Film Vice Chairman

In a move that stabilizes Fox’s film production division after last year’s Jim Gianopulos exit, 20th Century Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider has signed Emma Watts to a new deal that makes her Vice Chairman as well as President of Production. The new deal extends her oversight to animation and international productions, as well as physical production, postproduction, visual effects and music.
Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison will report to Snider and Watts…

In a move that stabilizes Fox’s film production division after last year’s Jim Gianopulos exit, 20th Century Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider has signed Emma Watts to a new deal that makes her Vice Chairman as well as President of Production. The new deal extends her oversight to animation and international productions, as well as physical production, postproduction, visual effects and music. Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison will report to Snider and Watts…

Bart & Fleming: Studio ‘Game Of Thrones’; Rush To Judge Films & Oscar Candidates; Jimmy Kimmel

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly column, two old friends get together occasionally and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business.
FLEMING: It seems like every month now, a Game Of Thrones episode breaks out at some Hollywood studio, with new kings crowned and old ones toppled. Most recently, that was Legendary, with Thomas Tull ousted and a report Jim Gianopulos might replace him. One recent evening, we…

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly column, two old friends get together occasionally and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: It seems like every month now, a Game Of Thrones episode breaks out at some Hollywood studio, with new kings crowned and old ones toppled. Most recently, that was Legendary, with Thomas Tull ousted and a report Jim Gianopulos might replace him. One recent evening, we…

Fox Film Ups Paul Hoffman To Head Of Biz Affairs

20th Century Fox Film has promoted veteran Paul Hoffman to EVP Business Affairs, and he will immediately assume oversight of all day-to-day business affairs for the film division, working with production president Emma Watts. He also will continue to manage the business affairs for Fox’s overall deals with Chernin Entertainment and Paul Feig.
An almost-20-year veteran of Fox and most recently SVP Business Affairs, he will report to Victoria Rossellini, Senior EVP…

20th Century Fox Film has promoted veteran Paul Hoffman to EVP Business Affairs, and he will immediately assume oversight of all day-to-day business affairs for the film division, working with production president Emma Watts. He also will continue to manage the business affairs for Fox's overall deals with Chernin Entertainment and Paul Feig. An almost-20-year veteran of Fox and most recently SVP Business Affairs, he will report to Victoria Rossellini, Senior EVP…

Inside the ‘Deadpool 2’ Fight Over ‘Two Totally Different Movies’ (Exclusive)

Soaring budgets and conflicting visions about story were at the heart of the creative rift between “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller, that led to Miller leaving the director’s chair, multiple individuals told TheWrap.

The Saturday report that Miller would no longer return to helm the blockbuster’s sequel shocked fans, with both sides citing “creative differences” between Miller and his star as a reason. But those differences were vast, TheWrap has learned, and expanded to the long-devoted group at the film’s core.

A sequel to “Deadpool” was already in active development when the first went into production, one individual familiar with the project said.

Also Read: Stacey Snider’s Fox Takeover May Mean Personality Clash With Top Execs, Insiders Say

Shortly after then-20th Century Fox CEO Jim Gianopulos confirmed a second movie at CinemaCon in April, cracks began to form in the creative team that also includes screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”).

In initial sequel talks, Reynolds, Reese and Wernick envisioned a “scrappy,” raunchy and inexpensive movie, the insider said — in the vein of the first, which earned over $780 million worldwide on a $58 million budget. It’s a stunning return on a film Reynolds lobbied 11 years to make.

Miller, known more for his visual flair than for the brash antics that Reynolds and his writers embraced and that fans loved, wanted a more stylish take, one that would compete with mega-budget superhero movies, insiders said. But it would have cost three times as much as the original $58 million film, the first individual said.

Also Read: ‘Deadpool 2’ Drama: Here’s What Ryan Reynolds and Director Tim Miller Clashed Over (Exclusive)

“There were two totally different movies on the table, and one of them just wasn’t ‘Deadpool,” said the first insider, who is familiar with both concepts.

Reynolds, Reese and Wernick’s vision won.

One person said Gianopulos had been a “peacekeeper” between director and star during the production on the first film. He handed the reigns to Stacey Snider on Sept. 1, who has had input on a situation largely handled by 20th Century Fox President of Production Emma Watts.

Another party close to Fox said executives did not have to step in to manage relationships until well after the first film’s release.

Miller pivoted immediately to another priority Fox project, an adaptation of Daniel Suarez’s cyber-crime thriller “Influx.”

Representatives for Miller did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, nor did reps for Reese or Wernick. A Reynolds spokesperson and 20th Century Fox declined to comment on the matter.

Also Read: Ryan Reynolds Crashes ‘Deadpool’ Honest Trailer (Video)

“Deadpool 2” does not currently have a release date. It was written by Reese and Wernick, and will feature popular character Domino, who, like Deadpool, is a former mercenary.

The part is hotly coveted, and those who have screen-tested for it include Kelly Rohrbach, Eve Hewson, Ruby Rose, Mackenzie DavisLizzy Caplan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sienna Miller, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Sigman and Sylvia Hoeks.

Reynolds just completed a different collaboration with Reese and Wernick: “Life,” about an international space crew that finds life on Mars, which  costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Tim Miller’s ‘Deadpool 2’ Exit Sparks Petition for Quentin Tarantino to Direct Sequel

‘Deadpool 2’ Drama: Here’s What Ryan Reynolds and Director Tim Miller Clashed Over (Exclusive)

‘Deadpool 2:’ Actress Shortlist for Domino Role Revealed (UPDATED)

Watch Deadpool Crash Japanese ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Trailer (Video)

Soaring budgets and conflicting visions about story were at the heart of the creative rift between “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller, that led to Miller leaving the director’s chair, multiple individuals told TheWrap.

The Saturday report that Miller would no longer return to helm the blockbuster’s sequel shocked fans, with both sides citing “creative differences” between Miller and his star as a reason. But those differences were vast, TheWrap has learned, and expanded to the long-devoted group at the film’s core.

A sequel to “Deadpool” was already in active development when the first went into production, one individual familiar with the project said.

Shortly after then-20th Century Fox CEO Jim Gianopulos confirmed a second movie at CinemaCon in April, cracks began to form in the creative team that also includes screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”).

In initial sequel talks, Reynolds, Reese and Wernick envisioned a “scrappy,” raunchy and inexpensive movie, the insider said — in the vein of the first, which earned over $780 million worldwide on a $58 million budget. It’s a stunning return on a film Reynolds lobbied 11 years to make.

Miller, known more for his visual flair than for the brash antics that Reynolds and his writers embraced and that fans loved, wanted a more stylish take, one that would compete with mega-budget superhero movies, insiders said. But it would have cost three times as much as the original $58 million film, the first individual said.

“There were two totally different movies on the table, and one of them just wasn’t ‘Deadpool,” said the first insider, who is familiar with both concepts.

Reynolds, Reese and Wernick’s vision won.

One person said Gianopulos had been a “peacekeeper” between director and star during the production on the first film. He handed the reigns to Stacey Snider on Sept. 1, who has had input on a situation largely handled by 20th Century Fox President of Production Emma Watts.

Another party close to Fox said executives did not have to step in to manage relationships until well after the first film’s release.

Miller pivoted immediately to another priority Fox project, an adaptation of Daniel Suarez’s cyber-crime thriller “Influx.”

Representatives for Miller did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, nor did reps for Reese or Wernick. A Reynolds spokesperson and 20th Century Fox declined to comment on the matter.

“Deadpool 2” does not currently have a release date. It was written by Reese and Wernick, and will feature popular character Domino, who, like Deadpool, is a former mercenary.

The part is hotly coveted, and those who have screen-tested for it include Kelly Rohrbach, Eve Hewson, Ruby Rose, Mackenzie DavisLizzy Caplan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sienna Miller, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Sigman and Sylvia Hoeks.

Reynolds just completed a different collaboration with Reese and Wernick: “Life,” about an international space crew that finds life on Mars, which  costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson.

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'Deadpool 2:' Actress Shortlist for Domino Role Revealed (UPDATED)

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‘Miracles From Heaven’ Producer DeVon Franklin Signs Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox (Exclusive)

“Miracles From Heaven” producer DeVon Franklin has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox, TheWrap has exclusively learned.

Franklin is widely viewed as the go-to guy for inspirational and faith-based material in town. In March of this year, Franklin developed and produced the hit faith-based film “Miracles From Heaven,” which starred Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah.

The film, which received a rare A+ CinemaScore, was made for a modest $15 million and has earned over $73 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of most successful faith-based films in recent years.

Also Read: Hollywood’s Come-to-Jesus Moment: Inside the Latest Rise of Faith-Driven Movies

“We’re excited to welcome DeVon Franklin into the Fox family. He has great taste and a real feel for inspirational stories. His films will provide a perfect complement to the great variety of films that Fox already produces,” Stacey Snider, Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film, said in a statement.

“I am deeply committed to producing inspirational content of faith that reaches audiences all around the world. This is why I’m so excited to join Stacey Snider, Emma Watts, and the Fox family. I am incredibly grateful for the support from such a legendary team for my vision of creating uplifting content for the masses,” Franklin continued.

Also Read: ‘I’m Not Ashamed’ Director on Why His Movie Isn’t ‘Christian’ Just Because the Lead Character Is (Guest Blog)

Franklin got his start as an intern for Will Smith and and producer James Lassiter, then served as a Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia TriStar Pictures — becoming one of the highest ranking African-American executives in Hollywood’s studio system, as well as one of the youngest to reach that rank.

During his 10-year tenure at Columbia, he achieved unprecedented success in helping shepherd such films as “The Karate Kid,” “The Pursuit Of Happiness,” “Jumping the Broom,” and, most notably, the sleeper hit “Heaven Is for Real.”

Franklin has several projects in the works including the upcoming Sony Pictures Animation film “The Star,” a story about the first Christmas told from the animals’ point of view, which is slated for a November 2017 release, and the high-profile reboot of “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” franchise.

Also Read: Sanya Richards-Ross Lands 3-Book Deal at HarperCollins Imprint

Additionally, he is working on a highly anticipated remake of the 1975 classic film “Cooley High” with MGM, the inspirational biopic “44,” with Kevin James attached to star and faith-based film “MJB Got Faith” with TriStar Pictures.

Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author, TV personality and Christian preacher. He posts daily inspiration to his more than 1 million followers on social media.

Franklin is repped by CAA and attorney John Meigs at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, L.L.P.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sony’s DeVon Franklin on Making the Jump to Producer and the Healing Power of Entertainment (Exclusive)

‘Miracles From Heaven’ Rises With $1.9 Million Debut

Meagan Good Rips Fans for Reposting Her Leaked Nude Photos: ‘You Should Be Ashamed’

“Miracles From Heaven” producer DeVon Franklin has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox, TheWrap has exclusively learned.

Franklin is widely viewed as the go-to guy for inspirational and faith-based material in town. In March of this year, Franklin developed and produced the hit faith-based film “Miracles From Heaven,” which starred Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah.

The film, which received a rare A+ CinemaScore, was made for a modest $15 million and has earned over $73 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of most successful faith-based films in recent years.

“We’re excited to welcome DeVon Franklin into the Fox family. He has great taste and a real feel for inspirational stories. His films will provide a perfect complement to the great variety of films that Fox already produces,” Stacey Snider, Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film, said in a statement.

“I am deeply committed to producing inspirational content of faith that reaches audiences all around the world. This is why I’m so excited to join Stacey Snider, Emma Watts, and the Fox family. I am incredibly grateful for the support from such a legendary team for my vision of creating uplifting content for the masses,” Franklin continued.

Franklin got his start as an intern for Will Smith and and producer James Lassiter, then served as a Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia TriStar Pictures — becoming one of the highest ranking African-American executives in Hollywood’s studio system, as well as one of the youngest to reach that rank.

During his 10-year tenure at Columbia, he achieved unprecedented success in helping shepherd such films as “The Karate Kid,” “The Pursuit Of Happiness,” “Jumping the Broom,” and, most notably, the sleeper hit “Heaven Is for Real.”

Franklin has several projects in the works including the upcoming Sony Pictures Animation film “The Star,” a story about the first Christmas told from the animals’ point of view, which is slated for a November 2017 release, and the high-profile reboot of “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” franchise.

Additionally, he is working on a highly anticipated remake of the 1975 classic film “Cooley High” with MGM, the inspirational biopic “44,” with Kevin James attached to star and faith-based film “MJB Got Faith” with TriStar Pictures.

Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author, TV personality and Christian preacher. He posts daily inspiration to his more than 1 million followers on social media.

Franklin is repped by CAA and attorney John Meigs at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, L.L.P.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sony's DeVon Franklin on Making the Jump to Producer and the Healing Power of Entertainment (Exclusive)

'Miracles From Heaven' Rises With $1.9 Million Debut

Meagan Good Rips Fans for Reposting Her Leaked Nude Photos: 'You Should Be Ashamed'