PRAGUE — Vaclav Marhoul, CEO of the Barrandov studio, was fired in a surprise move Monday night.
“I’ve been fired from all my positions at Barrandov,” Marhoul told Daily Variety.
Those posts included chief executive officer of the holding company AB Barrandov and chief executive officer of the film studio’s production unit, Barrandov Biografia.
“It’s the same story that happened to me three years ago,” he said. “Then they also told me only a few hours before.”
After his first firing, Marhoul spent six months working out a plan of operation for the then-stagnating studio, before returning to take the helm.
Norbert Auerbach, former head of United Artists and a senior adviser at Barrandov, told Daily Variety, “All we really know right now is that the chairman of the board of the holding company, Pavel Prerovsky, is going to be running the company on a day-to-day basis.”
The financial director of Barrandov Biografia, Petr Mutina, is also assuming the management duties of the production company for the time being.
Former Barrandov Biografia CEO Anna Vasova left that position a couple of months ago. As yet, no one else has been let go, although the studio was in turmoil on Tuesday.
“I consider Vaclav Marhoul a fantastic entrepreneur and the right man in the right place. I have the highest regard for him. But, I’m neither shocked nor surprised. These things happen,” Auerbach said.
The studio was in the process of making a turnaround following a dismal 1996. Marhoul had told Daily Variety on Monday that all divisions of Barrandov were once again showing a profit, but provided no figures.
Two feature films are shooting at the studio, Bille August’s “Les Miserables” starring Liam Neeson and Nikita Mikhalkov’s “The Barber of Siberia” with Julia Ormond. Barrandov is a co-producer on “Barber.”
Marhoul was also in negotiations for 19 other film projects, and the stages are filled until August.