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Strike-wary Renaissance axes 2 after pic delay

LONDON — Following the postponement of flagship pic “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” Renaissance Films has axed two execs and may cut five jobs in its sales arm, as the London-based production and sales company battens down the hatches to weather threatened Hollywood strikes.

Head of sales Bill Stephens and senior sales exec Charlie Bloye are out. Co-managing director Angus Finney will take direct charge of sales. Stephen Evans will continue to spearhead development and production.

“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” a $35 million project to be directed by Bryan Singer, could not complete financing quickly enough to finish shooting by the end of June, the likely start date for the Screen Actors Guild strike.

That has left Renaissance with little product to sell. The company had already put smaller British projects into turnaround late last year, including “Dr. Sleep” and “Personal Shopping,” to focus on larger Hollywood films, starting with the Bryan Singer pic.

Upcoming projects include Terry Gilliam’s “Good Omens” and Nick Hytner’s “Los Alamos,” but neither will be ready to shoot until after the possible strikes.

Stephens, formerly at FilmFour, and Bloye, previously at Rank Film Distributors, were both key parts of the management team that relaunched Renaissance two years ago with $40 million of equity from pension fund manager Hermes.

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