The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) Strike is having a major effect on many film studios, as they are now beginning to lay-off many of their staff. It’s happened at Warner Brothers, and now it’s happened at Walden Media, sad to say.
Nikki Finke writes: So we know that Walden Media let go many many staff today. I’m told among those exiting are head of production Alex Schwartz and Executive VP Jackie Levine as well as the physical production department, public relations staff, music staff, legal staff, etc. Cary Granat is hanging by a thread: he will retain his CEO title but his reign is over and he’s now marginalized to just overseeing Narnia and other Walden franchises and some already “go” movies. CFO David Weil stays and oversees. My sources say Weil offered Granat’s job to Disney’s Brigham Taylor (the exec behind the Pirates/Narnia films) but Brig declined. I hear Walden might bring in ex-Disney/Buena Vista bigwig Nina Jacobson to develop a new slate and a new team. All of Walden Media’s movies are shared with Disney, Fox or Summit.
Here’s a short summary from Variety, where you can read about the massive effect the WGA strike is having around each of the studios.
Anschutz Film Group shingles Walden Media and Bristol Bay shuttered the majority of their creative departments and laid off much of the physical production staff as well. Exec veep of production Alex Schwartz was among those let go. Walden will retain the key players on its “Narnia” team.
We can only hope and pray that this strike ends soon and that common ground is to be found somewhere. (Go writers, you deserve your fair share of your writing’s rewards!)