The immediate impacts of Horn’s exit from Disney seem somewhat muted, considering the gap he will be leaving behind. The studio has announced no plans to replace his current role of Chief Creative Officer, and Alan Bergman took over Horn’s former position as chairman in January of 2021, following a period where the two served as co-chairmen, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter.
However, the biggest question facing Disney is whether some parts of Horn’s approach to blockbuster filmmaking will leave with him. THR notes that Horn prioritized tentpole franchises early in his career, starting with his time a Warner Bros., where he oversaw the production of the “Harry Potter” films. His motto was, “Do I have to see it now, and do I have to see it on the big screen?” That philosophy paid off in the 2010s for Disney, considering the unprecedented success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Los Angeles Times observes that Horn was also a skilled manager of Disney’s prestigious subsidiaries and became the point person for dealing with those studios’ influential leaders, including Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige. The shift also comes as Disney expands into streaming with shows like “The Mandalorian.”
So what does all of this mean for Disney? With such an orderly leadership transition, it may not seem to indicate much at this present moment, but losing an industry veteran at such as crucial time could have unforeseen consequences — or it could be that Horn’s previous guidance has firmly pointed Disney in a successful direction, going forward. Fans will just have to wait and see what surprises Disney has in store.