Macon Blair to direct that mainstream Toxic Avenger reboot 

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Though we’re still not entirely sure why anyone would think this is a good idea, Legendary announced back in December that it had picked up the rights to do a reboot of iconic Troma series The Toxic Avenger. Legendary reportedly wanted to make a new To…

Disney Layoffs Claim Top Fox Executives Including Chris Aronson, Andrew Cripps, Pam Levine and More

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Disney dropped the hammer on Thursday, cutting jobs on the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot, starting from the top.

The layoffs, which are expected to eventually impact as many as 4,000 jobs, claimed some of Fox’s top executives in distribution, marketing and publicity including longtime studio veterans such as Chris Aronson, Andrew Cripps, Pam Levine and Fox TV president Greg Meidel.

Fox head of distribution Chris Aronson was among the first executives at the studio to get the call, putting out a statement on Thursday announcing that he had been let go.

“I am extremely grateful for my time at [Twentieth Century Fox] under the leadership of Tom, Jim, and Stacey,” Aronson said in the statement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the domestic distribution team, which I consider to be the gold standard in the business. While I am disappointed not to continue, I look forward to starting a new chapter in this business during this exciting time of change.”

Also Read: Disney Expected to Lay Off 4,000 Employees at Fox

Fox president of international distribution Andrew Cripps, another well-regarded executive in the industry was also let go on Thursday. Cripps previously worked at IMAX, helping to oversee the exhibitor’s global expansion. He served as president of international at Paramount before that.

Senior leadership for the studio’s marketing team was also gutted on Thursday.

Pam Levine, Fox’s president of worldwide theatrical marketing, was also pink-slipped. Levine took over that role in October 2016, overseeing successful and award-winning marketing campaigns for a wide range of films since, including “Hidden Figures,” “Logan,” “The Post,” “The Greatest Showman” and “Deadpool 2” as well as “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Prior to rejoining Fox, Levine was chief marketing officer at HBO, for five years, leading all of the company’s marketing for “Game of Thrones,” the launch of “True Detective,” “Girls,” “Silicon Valley,” “Veep” and “Last Week Tonight w John Oliver.”

Also Read: Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000 Division to Shutter Following Disney Acquisition

Co-president of worldwide theatrical marketing Kevin Campbell was also laid off. Campbell rejoined the studio in 2017 after most recently serving as Head of Marketing for Amblin Partners.

Before his role at Amblin, Campbell was executive vice president of marketing at Disney and brand lead for DreamWorks Studios titles released through the Touchstone banner. While at Disney, he oversaw the marketing campaigns for many films, including the critically acclaimed box-office hits “Bridge of Spies,” “Into The Woods,” “The Help” and “Lincoln.”

Consumer products Chief Jim Fielding got the news on Thursday that he would not be staying with company and Julie Rieger, Fox chief data strategist and head of media, was also let go.

Also Read: Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn Tells Fox Staff to Prepare for ‘Quite a Bit of Change’

Marketing guru and chief content officer Tony Sella was laid off, along with Heather Phillips, executive vice president and head of domestic publicity; Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development; and Dan Berger, executive vice president of corporate communications.

On Wednesday, Disney closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets. Now starts the arduous process of merging the two giant companies.

The layoffs are expected to cut deep through the Fox ranks. Some staff, the executive said, will move over to Disney temporarily in a transitional role, though it is unclear at this juncture how long some will have a job at the newly combined company.

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Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn Tells Fox Staff to Prepare for ‘Quite a Bit of Change’

Bob Iger on Disney-Fox Deal Close: ‘I Wish I Could Tell You That the Hardest Part Is Behind Us’

Disney Closes Its $71.3 Billion Acquisition of 21st Century Fox

Call Me By Your Name’s book sequel gets a title and a release date 

Read on: The A.V. Club.

It’s unclear now if anybody other than Luca Guadagnino really thinks a sequel to his 2017 movie adaptation of Call me By Your Name is a good idea, but André Aciman—who wrote the original Call Me By Your Name novel—at least has an idea for a sequel of h…

Disney Expected to Lay Off 4,000 Employees at Fox

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The other shoe has dropped: Fox began the process of laying off about 4,000 employees on Thursday, one day after the film and TV studio finalized its multibillion-dollar sale to Disney, a studio executive told TheWrap.

Senior-level staff will likely be the first impacted by the cuts, the executive said. Fox human resources began calling employees at the senior vice president, executive vice president and presidential level to deliver the news on Thursday.

Fox head of distribution Chris Aronson was among the first executives at the studio to get the call, putting out a statement on Thursday announcing that he had been let go.

Also Read: Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn Tells Fox Staff to Prepare for ‘Quite a Bit of Change’

“I am extremely grateful for my time at [Twentieth Century Fox] under the leadership of Tom, Jim, and Stacey,” Aronson said in the statement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the domestic distribution team, which I consider to be the gold standard in the business. While I am disappointed not to continue, I look forward to starting a new chapter in this business during this exciting time of change.”

Fox president of international distribution Andrew Cripps was also let go on Thursday, along with Heather Phillips, executive vice president and head of domestic publicity; Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development; and Dan Berger, executive vice president of corporate communications.

On Wednesday, Disney closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets. Now starts the arduous process of merging the two giant companies.

Also Read: Bob Iger on Disney-Fox Deal Close: ‘I Wish I Could Tell You That the Hardest Part Is Behind Us’

The layoffs are expected to cut deep through the Fox ranks. Some staff, the executive said, will move over temporarily in a transitional role, though it is unclear at this juncture how long some will have a job at the newly combined company.

Disney has already set some of its senior leadership under the new structure, announcing in October that Emma Watts would make the move to the studio’s management team, reporting directly to Disney studio head Alan Horn as vice chairman for Twentieth Century Fox Film and president of production at Fox.

Disney also said that 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: Universal Pictures Hires Fox Exec Matt Reilly as EVP of Production Development

Hours before Fox executives started getting calls about layoffs, Walt Disney Studio chairman Alan Horn and studio president Alan Bergman sent a memo to Fox staff thanking them for their patience as they prepare for “quite a bit of change.”

“Although there is much to look forward to, we know this integration will entail quite a bit of change across our organizations,” Horn and Bergman wrote. “We want to acknowledge that and assure you we are committed to engaging in this process thoughtfully and communicating changes as we are able – most importantly with respect for all involved.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Disney Closes Its $71.3 Billion Acquisition of 21st Century Fox

Disney Boss Bob Iger Says 20th Century Fox Will Continue to Make Films Under Its Own Brands

Fox Entertainment Shows Off ‘Fresh Start’ in Promo After Sell-Off to Disney (Video)

‘Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles’ Doc Acquired by Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The worldwide rights to “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles,” Max Lewkowicz’s new documentary, has been co-acquired by Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films.

The documentary tells the story behind Broadway musical Fiddler on The Roof” and its creative roots in early 1960s New York. “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” includes interviews with the Broadway show’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick, legendary producer Hal Prince, original cast members, such as Austin Pendleton, as well as rare archival footage of choreographer Jerome Robbins.

“Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” also features new interviews with Broadway luminaries and cultural influencers including “Hamilton” and “In the Heights” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chaim Topol, Harvey Fierstein, and famed authors Fran Lebowitz, Calvin Trillin and Nathan Englander.

Also Read: Leonard Cohen Sundance Documentary ‘Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love’ Acquired by Roadside Attractions

“Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” was directed by Max Lewkowicz — who was nominated for an Emmy for his 2016 documentary “Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro” — and co-written with Valerie Thomas. The film was produced by Lewkowicz, Thomas, Ann Oster, Rita Lerner, and Patti Kenner.

“Fiddler is a show very near to our hearts,” said Roadside co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, “This film is a must-see for anyone who loves this show and wants to better understand why it remains such a worldwide phenomenon, inspiring countless student and professional productions and generations of performers.”

Opening in 1964, “Fiddler on the Roof” held the record for the longest-running musical for almost 10 years. The play won nine Tony Awards, and has spawned five Broadway revivals. Based on the stories of Yiddish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem, it is among the most well-known musicals in the world.

Also Read: Laura Dern and Jack O’Connell True-Crime Drama ‘Trial by Fire’ Acquired by Roadside Attractions

The musical tells the story of Tevye the Milkman and his struggle to find grooms for his five daughters under the oppression of Czarist Russia and the early-20th-century pogroms threatening the Jewish community and the mythical village of Anatevka. Few, however, understand the context against which the show was created, during another time and place of tremendous social change: the creative and intellectual milieu of 1960s New York. It was a time when virtually every aspect of society was being questioned, including gender roles, sexuality, race relations, and the role of religion in public life.

“Fiddler is a show with themes that remain hugely relevant today,” says Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films. “This documentary offers profound insight into the historical and cultural movements that inspired Fiddler as well as its enduring appeal around the world.”

Also Read: Aretha Franklin’s Angelic Voice in ‘Amazing Grace’ Trailer Will Give You Chills (Video)

The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films, Angel An from Roadside Attractions, and Adam J. Greene on behalf of the filmmakers.

Roadside and Goldwyn will release “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” in theaters this summer.

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Hugh Jackman to Star as Harold Hill in ‘The Music Man’ Broadway Revival

‘Nashville’ to Be Adapted as a Broadway Musical

How BroadwayHD Overcame Nervous Theater Producers to Stream Hit Stage Shows

Lionsgate Names Jen Hollingsworth Chief Operating Officer of Motion Picture Group

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jen Hollingsworth has been named chief operating officer of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group effective immediately, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake announced on Wednesday.

Hollingsworth, who previously served as executive vice president of strategic planning and operations, will work closely with Drake in her new role.

“Jen is one of the most exceptional and talented motion picture business strategists working in our industry today,” Drake said in a statement. “She knows this Company inside and out, is skilled, experienced and is the ideal chief operating officer. She has spearheaded many of Lionsgate’s successes within the motion picture group and is the best at understanding the marriage of business opportunities and the creative aspirations of filmmakers.  Our company just got stronger with Jen in this role.”

Also Read: Can Lionsgate’s Movie Division Bounce Back After Getting Thrown ‘Overboard’ in 2018?

As COO, Hollingsworth will head up the motion picture group’s finance department, manage a strategic planning and analysis team and oversee daily operations as the division positions itself for growth. She will also engage in cross-company initiatives designed to maximize and fully monetize Lionsgate’s film assets.

“I am enormously excited about what is happening within the motion picture group, from the outstanding filmmakers we are partnering with to the innovations we are pioneering with the Lionsgate data center,” Hollingsworth said in a statement. “Our data-first strategy approach and the effective impact it has throughout the company is especially dynamic, and I feel honored and privileged to take on this role at this time with this incredibly talented team.”

In her previous role, Hollingsworth was responsible for worldwide deal analysis, operational management and strategic planning for the Lionsgate’s film slate across multiple film labels, including Summit Entertainment, Good Universe and Pantelion Films.

She joined the studio in 2007 as vice president of finance and business development, when Lionsgate acquired Mandate Pictures. She began her entertainment industry career in business development at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Also Read: Peter Kang, Former Lionsgate Co-President, to Join Columbia Pictures as EVP of Production

In January, Drake sent an email to staff announcing a restructuring in the studio’s business operations that resulted in approximately 25 people losing their jobs. Earlier this month, the studio’s television division let go of 20 staffers, impacting mostly business jobs and a small number of TV roles.

The majority of the changes were a result of Lionsgate consolidating its marketing and distribution under one roof. The marketing division is run by Damon Wolf, who joined from Sony Pictures and started Jan. 1.

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Lionsgate Lays Off 20 More Staffers

Lionsgate Earnings, Revenue Drop Year-Over-Year as Film Profits Decline

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