Several dozen staffers have been let go at Disney’s film and visual effects units, including the Fox studio being absorbed into the company.
About 250 workers have been let go to date, a studio source tells Deadline.
Those exiting Fox include John Kilkenny, who headed visual effects; Fred Baron, EVP of feature production; Dana Belcastro, EVP of physical production; and Fred Chandler, EVP of post production. All of them had reported to Fox exec Emma Watts, who last week was confirmed as staying at the company via a new pact at Disney. The layoffs were implemented on Wednesday.
Also headed for the dustbin is a valuable Hollywood resource: the Fox Research Library. By the start of 2020, its collections will be folded into Disney’s archives. The library has served countless productions over the decades with period-specific information and details that informed all aspects of their look and feel.
The trims at the film studio represent a small portion of the thousands of workers being displaced across the company due to job eliminations and layoffs. Since Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox closed in March, the company has been working toward a projected target of $2 billion in merger-related synergies. It will give a status update on its progress to Wall Street next Wednesday when it reports third-quarter earnings.
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Earlier rounds of layoffs on the film side generally have affected Fox staffers in areas like distribution and marketing where there are clear overlaps between the studios’ operations.
Variety had the first report of the layoffs.
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