Solstice Studios Lays Off Top Executives, Including CEO Mark Gill

Production company says it is not closing and is focusing on completing production of the Ben Affleck film “Hypnotic”

solstice studios
Solstice Studios

Solstice Studios has laid off several of its top executives on Monday, including CEO Mark Gill, all this following a wave of layoffs from December.

Among those exiting are Gill, production president Lisa Ellzey, founding marketing chief Vincent Bruzzese, distribution head Shari Hardison and head of international sales Crystal Bourbeau.

However, Solstice is denying a report that the production company will close and says it is focusing on the production of Robert Rodriguez’s film “Hypnotic” starring Ben Affleck and Alice Braga and that there will still be 10 people working at the company.

“Solstice is not closing. It is being streamlined and will focus entirely on getting ‘Hypnotic”‘produced and released. To that end, there will still be 10 people working at the company going forward,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

They continued: “’Hypnotic’ is fully funded and in production now. Principal photography is scheduled to be completed November 19. Post-production is set for completion on July 15, 2022. Solstice is targeting a wide theatrical release in North America in September or October 2022 on a minimum of 2,000 screens. The U.S. release will either be handled by a team purpose-built by Solstice for this picture—or by a third-party U.S. distributor. Solstice is targeting a concurrent international theatrical release of the movie to be handled by independent distributors in territories all around the world who have pre-bought the movie.”

Solstice was founded in 2018 and found some success during COVID in 2020 before theaters had opened widely with its release of the Russell Crowe thriller “Unhinged,” though the film only grossed $44.3 million. The company was launched as a privately backed venture with the goal of financing and releasing theatrically mid-budget genre films while supplementing with other acquisitions.

Solstice had also acquired for a reported $20 million the Mark Wahlberg drama “Good Joe Bell,” but that offer was later rescinded and the movie was released earlier this year (as “Joe Bell”) by Roadside Attractions. Solstice also pulled out of release of the Gerard Butler thriller “The Plane” after COVID insurance issues, though the film was eventually picked up by Lionsgate.

Deadline first reported the news.