Pauline Fischer, the head of Netflix’s original films arm, is stepping down from her post.
Fischer has led the streaming giant’s increasingly ambitious move into film production, overseeing the company’s crucial first features.
She first joined Netflix in 2008 and, as Vice President of Original Films, worked with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos to acquire new titles. She was behind the landmark $12 million deal for Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation, which Netflix released in cinemas and online on the same day, earning the streaming site awards clout, while trying to disrupt theatrical distribution in the same way it has the television landscape. Fischer also oversaw Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous 6, which premiered last December, and the bringing in of Death Note, Adan Wingard’s long-awaited adaptation of the hit manga, which will debut in 2017.
Now, Variety reports she’s departing to start her own business development consultancy firm.
She leaves as Netflix increasingly established itself as a major player in the indie distribution arena, with the streaming giant frequently active at Sundance and other festivals, with the cash to snap up such titles as The Fundamentals of Caring, starring Paul Rudd, for a record amount, and a wave of Oscar nominated documentaries, which have recently been joined Ava DuVernay’s 13th.
“Pauline Fischer has mounted an incredible slate of original films for Netflix and we are grateful to her for getting this important initiative underway,” Sarandos told Variety in a statement. “In the year ahead, we will be exclusively premiering Bright from David Ayer starring Will Smith; War Machine from David Michod starring Brad Pitt; Okja from Bong Joon Ho starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano; and Our Souls at Night from Ritesh Batra starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, among many others. Netflix continues to build its original film initiative to give consumers around the world great new movies to enjoy when and how they want.”
Fischer will reportedly continue to consult on active productions during her transition. No replacement has yet been announced.