Sean Bailey is leaving Disney

Sean Bailey is leaving Disney

Sean Bailey and David Greenbaum

Sean Bailey (left) and David Greenbaum

The Walt Disney Company via Getty Images; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Sean Bailey, the producer and executive who led Walt Disney Studios' live-action division for nearly 15 years, is leaving the studio.

In his place, David Greenbaum, who ran Searchlight Pictures with Matthew Greenfield, will take on the newly created role of president of Disney Live Action and 20th Century Studios. Greenbaum will report to Disney Entertainment co-chairman Alan Bergman.

Steve Asbell continues to lead 20th Century Studios as president, while Greenfield assumes sole oversight of Searchlight as president.

According to the studio's announcement on Monday, in this new role, Greenbaum will “lead a combined studio group that will house both iconic film brands and produce a robust collection of original and legacy projects, each unique to theatrical and streaming, while also delivering the Strengthen cooperation around the world.” Production plan.”

The move is a big step for Greenbaum, who, along with his partner Greenfield, has a strong track record in prestige films. The pair were under the wing of former Searchlight bosses Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula and took the top job in 2021. The company is in the awards race this year with “Poor Things” and has 11 nominations. Greenbaum has earned a reputation for being talent-friendly and engaging in awards races. This new job will be a different creative experience as it shapes the purveyor's roster of the biggest film titles in Hollywood.

“David has an incredible creative flair and instinct for film and has built a reputation as an exceptional leader and creative executive, as evidenced by his track record at Searchlight Pictures and his deep relationships throughout the industry,” Bergman said in a statement. “I am very pleased that he will be taking on this new and important role. We were very fortunate to have a strong creative leader at 20th Century in Steve Asbell, and I'm excited to have him working closely with David as we take a more strategic look at both brands from a creative and operational perspective. I would also like to thank Sean Bailey for his many contributions and leadership during his tenure at Disney. Searchlight remains in excellent hands under Matthew Greenfield’s leadership.”

Bailey's departure has been rumored for several weeks, with his name high on the list of executives most likely to replace Scott Stuber, Netflix's film chief, who announced his departure in January. However, this does not appear to be the case, although it is not clear what has changed.

Disney named Bailey president of production in 2010. He led the strategy to move away from original films and focus on remaking the company's animated classics in live-action. It was a strategy hard to argue against, with several films becoming billion-dollar blockbusters, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Bailey made his name as the partner of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in the trio's LivePlanet banner and was a producer on Affleck's feature film debut, the widely acclaimed 2007 thriller Gone Baby Gone.

His first post-executive role will be producing Disney's Tron: Ares. Further production projects will certainly follow. “These 15 years at Disney have been an incredible journey, but the time is right for a new chapter. I am deeply grateful to my extraordinary team and proud of the success and history we have built together,” Bailey said in a statement. “I joined Disney while producing Tron: Legacy, so it seems fitting that after I leave I will have the opportunity to work on the latest Tron. I wish Bob Iger, Alan Bergman and all my great colleagues all the best for a bright future.”

Bergman gushed in a statement: “(Sean) and his team have brought to the screen iconic stories and moments that have thrilled fans around the world and will stand the test of time.” I know he will continue to do great things, and “I couldn’t be happier that he’s continuing to produce Tron: Ares.”

During Greenbaum's long tenure at Searchlight, the executive worked on the Oscar winners “The Shape of Water” and “Nomadland” as well as projects such as “The Menu,” “The Favorite,” “Wild,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and ” Black Swan” involved. As a development executive at Miramax Films, he worked on films such as “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood.” Prestige courts are in his blood and only make his transition more interesting.

“I would like to thank Bob Iger and Alan Bergman for the extraordinary opportunity to continue the legacy of storied and groundbreaking storytelling at both Disney and 20th Century – it is an honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly and that I relish “We're working with Steve Asbell and the teams,” Greenbaum explained. “At the same time, the last 14 years of working with my dear friend and colleague Matthew Greenfield have been unforgettable – Searchlight and the incredible team there remain the benchmark for quality in our company, and I look forward to watching them continue to enjoy success.” coming years.”