Pauline Fischer, the high-ranking executive who oversaw original films at Netfix, is leaving her post, Variety has learned.
Fischer, who joined Netflix in 2008, will be starting a business development consultancy firm. As the company’s vice president of original films, she worked closely with chief content officer Ted Sarandos to acquire new titles for the streaming service. Her exit comes as Netflix has been aggressively moving into original content, snapping up the rights of such titles as “The Fundamentals of Caring” starring Paul Rudd out of Sundance and releasing Oscar documentary hopeful “13th,” directed by Ava DuVernay.
One of Fischer’s first offerings was Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation,” a grim drama about child soldiers in Africa that was purchased for $12 million in 2015. Netflix released the title in theaters and on its streaming platforms on the same day last year, as a part of an aggressive bid to upend the movie business like it transformed traditional TV viewing with original series such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” Fischer oversaw Adam Sandler’s “The Ridiculous 6,” which premiered last December, and “Death Note,” a thriller based on the hit manga and directed by Adam Wingard that will be released in 2017.
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“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 continue to consult on active productions, as she transitions out of her role over the next few weeks. A replacement has not yet been named for the position.