And so the deck of cards changes even more...
Truthfully, I was surprised when he wasn't let go when Dick Cook was fired. If you haven't heard the news, Oren Aviv, the President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production has been fired. Or resigned if you believe that Dick Cook did the same.
Much of the slate for this anointed marketing wundkind hasn't exactly panned out. He was one of Dick Cook's chief suits and was believed to be the one to succeed him should he step down. Aviv was the one primarily responsible for "National Treasure" and had guided much of the production as well as development over the past two years. Many of the projects he approved were disappointing in their box office returns, others like the "Jungle Cruise" adaption have failed to materialize. Here is his announcement:
Today, Oren Aviv announced that he is resigning his post of president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production.
Avis said, “As of today, I'm stepping down from my position as president of Production, Walt Disney Studios. I have loved every day that I have been at the studio and feel incredibly privileged to have been part of a team that enriched my life for 20 years.
I will miss all the amazing filmmakers, the many talented actors and most importantly the lifelong friends I've been so lucky to work with throughout my Disney career.
I'm proud of the hundreds of movies I've helped to make and market, especially the studio's upcoming films, from Alice in Wonderland and Prince of Persia to The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Tron. All have been extremely rewarding creative and personal endeavors for me, and have allowed me to work with the best group of executives and staff in the business.
I wish Disney, Bob Iger, Rich Ross and their new teams great success for many years to come.“
Rich Ross, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios stated, “Oren’s significant contributions to The Walt Disney Studios are well-documented and countless movie-goers have been entertained by his diverse portfolio of films,” said The Walt Disney Studios Chairman, Rich Ross. “We appreciate his work and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
A successor will be named at an appropriate time.
Expect more fallout as the Studio shakes off the last remnants of the Cook regime and moves forward with Ross' vision. As the NY Times artile mentions; expect a shake up in the home entertainment division soon, as well. And then there are "other" evolving situations.
Developing much more than you would know...