Monday, January 19, 2015

DreamCrush: More DreamWorks Layoffs


The studio is once again letting people go...

It is being reported that up to 400 people could be affected. 400. More than the roughly 350+ members that got their walking papers in early 2013 after both Rise of the Guardians flopping and Me and My Shadow being back-burnered.

The LA Times says...

"Layoffs are expected to include animators, story-board artists and other production personnel and support staff at the studio's Glendale and Redwood City facilities, which employ about 2,200 workers."

Once again the creatives will most likely get affected. What a bummer...

A DreamWorks spokesperson refused to comment, writing off the reports as rumor and speculation. But Steve Hulett himself got word from members that layoffs were coming.

Variety reports that new presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria are "taking a close look at the types of films with which the studio will move forward, reducing production budgets and other overhead at the company."

I would've thought that the two would reevaluate the current slate, the very slate in its messy glory. Budgets need to go down, a no-brainer. $125-135 million is way too much to pour into projects like Turbo and Boss Baby and such. I'm glad that they will be taking some initiative...

However...

"Both Kung Fu Panda 3 and B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations were moved out of 2015, with the latter not yet landing on a new release date."

I thought that B.O.O. was simply put in the TBD zone, not exactly "moved out of 2015". Is this just an error? Or is DreamWorks thinking of delaying the ghost movie to 2016? This coming October is more than free now, now that Disney has moved their live-action Jungle Book out of the 10/9/2015 slot and pushed it all the way back to spring 2016. DreamWorks needs to take advantage of this, ASAP.

Now... As for the layoffs... These layoffs don't seem to be the result of something underperforming. I have a feeling another Me and My Shadow-type issue is occurring. Something is probably being delayed, or torpedoed. Something on the slate might get the axe, after all, Arnold and Soria are looking at what kind of films to put into production. Maybe they feel one or more of the upcoming films aren't doable, business-wise.

Maybe they're going to push for more creative projects. The exciting-sounding 2D/CG hybrid Me and My Shadow is reportedly back on the docket, Impero Disney's Iry interviewed director Alessandro Carloni and he said that the completely rewritten film should be out sometime after 2017.

Will any film get removed from the slate completely? Maybe. I can definitely see a major slate change happening, as it's being implied that one will come. "When?", is the question. And "what?", is the other question.

My two cents/predictions: Boss Baby will go, and something from 2017 will move up to 2016. Maybe The Croods 2? I doubt the studio will release four films in 2017. Trolls will probably be safe since DreamWorks owns the whole toy line now. Captain Underpants has a full cast with a writer-director team, seems too late to cancel it - but anything is possible. Me and My Shadow had a team and cast, too. I can see Arnold and Soria favoring more original, creative stuff like Monkeys of Mumbai and Larrikins. Sequels? We'll see where those will all end up...

1 comment:

  1. Damn. Nothing but bad news for them, day in, day out.

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