Solstice Studios Winds Down, Mark Gill and Other Top Leaders Exit


Derailed by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Solstice Studios lost its top leadership on Monday in a sign that the relatively new indie producer and distribution outfit is winding down.

Veteran Hollywood indie executive Mark Gill helped found Solstice in 2018 after the proposed venture raised a hefty sum.

Gill, who serves as CEO, is among those exiting alongside marketing chief Vincent Bruzzese, production chief Lia Ellzey, distribution chief Shari Hardison and international sales head Crystal Bourbeau.

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Roughly 10 people are said to be remaining at Solstice through next year. Their job is to oversee the completion of the Ben Affleck-starrer Hypnotic, directed by Robert Rodriguez.

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“Solstice is not closing. It is being streamlined and will focus entirely on getting Hypnotic produced and released,” a spokesman for Solstice said in a statement.

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, the statement continued.

The movie is expected to receive a wide theatrical release in North America in September of October of next year. It will be distributed by a team built by Solstice or a third-party. Hypnotic will be released overseas by a variety of distributors who pre-bought the film.

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Founded with a goal to focus on nationwide theatrical releases, Solstice was derailed by the pandemic just as it was ready to release its first movie, the Russell Crowe road-rage thriller Unhinged in the summer of 2020.

Despite the restrictions on theatrical and the tough operating environment, Gill decision to open the film made Unhinged among the first new Hollywood offerings at reopened theaters following a shut down in March 2020. The thriller was a modest success, considering the circumstances, grossing $44.1 million globally.

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