NEW DELHI: Vijay Singh, chief executive officer at Fox Star Studios, is all set to step down from his role as the firm heads to final stages of completing its acquisition by The Walt Disney Co, people familiar with the development said.
Singh will move on to head a foreign media technology brand that is entering the Indian market. Meanwhile, the combined Disney Fox entity that will continue to make local Hindi films as well as distribute Hollywood offerings, will be led by Bikram Duggal, who is currently serving as executive director and head, studio entertainment, Disney India.
Walt Disney had acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. in a $71 billion cash and stock deal in June 2018. That makes Star India, Fox Star Studios and Hotstar in India, a part of Walt Disney.
Singh who is expected to remain with Fox Star for the next three to four months, is responsible for the company’s foray into Bollywood a decade ago with the distribution of Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan (2010). The movie production and distribution company, may not have had it all smooth with initial offerings like Bombay Velvet, Brothers, Shandaar and Hamari Adhuri Kahaani that were all box office disasters, but the tables soon turned with hits like Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo, Jolly LLB 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Judwaa 2, Sanju, Housefull 4 and others.
In earlier interviews with Mint, Singh had spoken about the company’s conscious strategy to foster relationships with home-grown production houses like those owned by Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala, Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Before Fox Star, Singh has served as managing director, developing markets at The Tetley Group-Tata Global Beverages Group and managing director at Sony Music Entertainment India.
Fox Star has just released Tiger Shroff-starrer Baaghi 3 that had made Rs. 75 crore at last count. It awaits the release of Akshay Kumar-starrer Laxmmi Bomb and Karan Johar’s superhero flick Brahmastra later this year. Disney is all set to bring Hollywood offerings like action drama Mulan and female superhero film Black Widow as it anticipates the official launch of its new streaming service Disney+ in India on 29 March. Hotstar, the video streaming service owned by the Star network has already been rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar, ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year.