Emma Thompson Leaves Skydance Film ‘Luck’ Due to John Lasseter Hiring

The Oscar winner had signed on to voice a role in the upcoming animated comedy.
Emma Thompson'The Children Act' film premiere, London, UK - 16 Aug 2018
Emma Thompson
Anthony Harvey/REX/Shutterstock

Emma Thompson is bowing out of her voice role in Skydance Animation’s “Luck” due to “concerns about working with the division’s head John Lasseter” (via Deadline). The studio has not yet announced the voice cast for “Luck,” but at the time of her exit Thompson had already started recording her role in the animated comedy. “Luck” takes inspiration from “Inside Out” in telling the story of teams of good luck and bad luck who compete to determine the outcome of everyday people’s fate. Thompson was voicing the role of one of the good luck characters. The film is directed by “Kung Fu Panda 3” co-director Alessandro Carloni.

Thompson’s departure is the first bit of star power blowback a Skydance project has received since the comedy announced at the start of January it was bringing in Lasseter to head its animation division. The position is Lasseter’s first major gig since Disney parted ways with him following accusations of sexual harassment. Lasseter previously admitted to making “missteps” while working at Disney.

Lasseter was the chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar when the company severed ties with him. During his time at Pixar, Lasseter famously directed “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” and “Cars,” while producing all of their efforts. Skydance CEO David Ellison defended Lasseter’s hiring in a letter sent to company staffers.

“I know many of you are aware of John’s admitted mistakes in his prior role helming [Pixar and Disney],” Ellison wrote. “John has been forthright in taking ownership of his behavior, apologized for his actions and has spent the past year on sabbatical analyzing and improving his workplace behavior…We employed outside counsel to thoroughly investigate the allegations, which we considered serious and have warranted our full attention as we made this important decision. The senior leadership team and I have all carefully evaluated the findings of this extensive investigation.”

Lasseter started his new job at Skydance Animation at the end of January. Deadline reports Thompson quietly exited “Luck” after his hiring was made official.

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