Earlier today, after a presentation of Toy Story 3 to attendees at the ShoWest convention at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas, Disney/Pixar’s John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich and Darla Anderson accepted the Big Ten award on behalf of Pixar Animation Studios in honor of its ten-in-a-row box office smashes.
Rich Ross, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios (TWDS), announced today that Sean Bailey has been named President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production as the segment continues to restructure its operation. In his new role, he will oversee all aspects of live-action development, film production and physical production for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. Additional changes to international theatrical distribution, multicultural initiatives, publicity, communications and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment were made as part of the business’ new strategic direction.
“Building upon a strong foundation with the company, Sean brings great creative instincts and considerable filmmaking experience to his new role at The Walt Disney Studios. His close relationships throughout the creative community and industry at large make him an ideal leader to set the direction of TWDS’ future film slates,” said Ross. “Sean’s talent, energy, and commitment to delivering quality content will help us achieve our goals of producing and distributing Disney-branded movies that entertain audiences worldwide.”
“I am honored and thrilled to join a company with the history and tradition of The Walt Disney Studios,” said Bailey. “Working with the strong team that has been assembled under Rich’s leadership, I look forward to working with the Studios’ impressive array of talented filmmakers to create entertaining, inspiring films that uphold the legacy and quality of classic Disney movies and capture the imagination of our global audiences.”
Bailey’s feature film producing credits include Matchstick Men, Gone Baby Gone and the upcoming Disney film, Tron Legacy. He is the founder and president of the production company, Idealogy, Inc. He also co-founded the integrated media firm, LivePlanet, with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore and was the executive producer of several high profile television programs including LivePlanet’s three-time Emmy-nominated Project Greenlight. Sean wrote the screenplay Liberty for The Walt Disney Company and co-wrote the screenplay Solace.
Variety has recently reported that the sequel to the 2007 ensemble comedy Wild Hogs, Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride has been scrapped by the studio. According to the article, the script has been written and the film set to begin shooting by summer, but no formal contracts with the actors were in play.
This is the third film on the Disney slate axed by the former Disney Channel champion Rich Ross since he has taken over the position of Studios President, the first being the Disney originated remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the later victim, Wedding Banned starring Robin Williams, which was dropped by the studios but could find bliss elsewhere.
The Walt Disney Studios just can’t churn out big news fast enough. Two major projects couldn’t have had more opposite developments within the past 24 hours.
First, it’s been reported that McG’s remake of ’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ has been shelved and all but abandoned.
Second, POTC4 has been on shaky ground since day 1 with Gore Verbinksi, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom jumping ship long before Dick Cook’s exit, but now it’s being widely reported that Depp, who reportedly was strongly considering leaving the project as well in light of Cook’s departure, has conceded and accepted the role with a meager paycheck of $30M (with some reported figures even higher).
BURBANK, Calif., October 5, 2009 — Rich Ross, President of Disney Channels Worldwide, has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, it was announced today by Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger.
Ross will oversee worldwide production, distribution and marketing for the company’s range of live-action and feature animated film labels, including Walt Disney, Touchstone, Miramax and Disney/Pixar. In his new role, which he assumes immediately, he will also head Disney’s theatrical and music groups.
In his thirteen years at Disney, Ross has consistently created hit original programming, effectively expanded a worldwide creative and distribution organization, skillfully built the Disney brand with global franchises that work across borders and technology platforms and put in place a strong management team.
“Rich has an outstanding record of creating high-quality family entertainment that delights audiences around the world,” said Iger. “With his success in building the Disney brand across many of our businesses, his astute marketing sensibility, his proven ability in working effectively with talent and his skill at navigating complex global markets, I’m confident he’s the perfect leader for our studio group.”