Disney Shake-Up Leaves Jacobson Out
Oren Aviv will oversee reduced film slate
Oren Aviv, most recently president of marketing and chief creative officer, will assume the production president position.
The announcement, which came on the same day as reports began swirling that Disney is planning on reducing its workforce by 650 people worldwide, elaborated on previously revealed plans to reduce Disney's film output. The move, intended to concentrate on Disney-branded movies, will leave the studio producing and distributing 10 Disney live-action and animated films a year and two to three Touchstone films a year.
"Disney is the No. 1 name in filmed entertainment around the world," Cook says in a statement. "It's the name on the door, it's what we do best, and when we do it right, not only do moviegoers of all ages benefit from the finest in quality entertainment, but it lifts the entire company as well. The depth and breadth of great Disney movies range from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' to 'Cars' to 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' and we look to expand our global reach even more."
Tuesday's announcement of Jacobson's forced exit came at a surprising time for the executive. Not only is Disney basking in the glory of the record breaking box office take for the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sequel, but Jacobson is enjoying a surprising wave of publicity thanks to Michael Bamberger's M. Night Shyamalan book "The Man Who Heard Voices." In the book, Jacobson plays a major early role, questioning major plot details in Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water" script, a lack of faith that led to the end of the writer-director's relationship with Disney. Several early reviews of "Lady" have cited the accuracy of each of Jacobson's criticisms, praising her storytelling and business savvy.
"Nina Jacobson will be leaving the company, and while she will certainly be missed, we greatly appreciate her many contributions and wish her well," says Cook in the corporate statement.