William Sadleir, the founder and chairman of indie distributor Aviron Pictures, has been ousted by the fledgling company’s financier, two insiders familiar with his exit told Variety.
It’s unclear under what circumstances Sadleir left, both sources said. He was removed under a contractual provision given to the shop’s senior lender, reported to be asset management company Black Rock, one individual noted. No immediate replacement was named, the insiders added.
A spokesperson for Aviron did not immediately comment on the matter. Sadleir and a spokesperson for Black Rock did not immediately return Variety‘s request for comment.
The company is said to be undergoing an internal assessment of projects and workflow as a new chairman search begins. One of the insiders said Black Rock is also considering a third-party firm to review Aviron’s assets and library thus far — which includes Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway’s “Serenity” and Halle Berry’s “Kidnap,” a film itself rescued from the bankruptcy ashes of Relativity Media.
Veteran producer David Dinerstein is Aviron’s president and has a deep indie resume at shops like Fox Searchlight and Paramount Vantage. His early days were spent as the head of marketing at Miramax, where he oversaw campaigns for films including “Pulp Fiction” and “The Piano,” according to his bio.
The company was launched out of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, an arm of the shell Aviron Capital. Their next theatrical release is “The Informer,” a crime drama starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, and Clive Owen, which is set for a limited bow in March.
(Pictured: Joel Kinnaman in Aviron Pictures’ “The Informer”)