That also didn’t take very long; just a day after finalizing plans for its $71.3 billion deal to acquire 21st Century Fox and its various TV and film-producing subsidiaries, Disney has already started making some serious cuts to the venerable studio. The first casualty: Fox 2000, a.k.a. the studio behind well-regarded films like Love, Simon, plus The Hate U Give, and 2016 Oscar nominee Hidden Figures. (It was also the spot from which the company launched Alvin And The Chipmunks and its various Squeakquels, but hey, nobody’s perfect.)
The news is especially shocking in light of Disney’s various claims that business would continue as usual at most of the Fox properties, with money simply flowing into the all-consuming mouth of Mickey Mouse instead of Rupert Murdoch. Specifically, the company had strongly implied that studio head Elizabeth Gabler would be making the move over to Disney, but as reported by Variety, that doesn’t turn out to have been the case.
Fox 2000 isn’t the only part of the Fox organization getting hit with cuts—although it is the most immediately public facing. Variety reports that as many as 4000 jobs are likely to be cut after the merger, mostly in the studio’s now-redundant marketing and distribution arms. (Disney is reportedly hoping to cut something like $2 billion in consolidation costs, which means they’ll likely be going through payrolls with a buzzsaw.)
Meanwhile, Fox 2000 was a victim of being just a little too difficult to describe, it seems, neither producing the mainstream blockbusters of the main Fox wing, or the obvious indie darlings of Fox Searchlight. What it did have was a taste for interesting literary adaptations, giving a home to movies like Figures, The Devil Wears Prada, and The Fault In Our Stars, films that might not have found a place anywhere else. As analysts speculate that Fox’s production slate might soon be knocked down to as little as four theatrical releases per year, it’s a dark sign of what kind of cuts might be coming for the nearly century-old studio.