'Harry Potter' Star Emma Thompson Quits Project After Animation Studio Hires John Lasseter

Former Pixar head John Lasseter may have moved on to Skydance Animation after accusations of sexual misconduct, but not everyone is on board with the move. Harry Potter star Emma Thompson has quit a Skydance project as a result of Lasseter's hiring.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thompson has exited her voice role for Skydance's upcoming animated feature, Luck, due to concerns about working with Lasseter. Thompson's rep confirmed this news to PEOPLE.

Back in January, Skydance CEO David Ellison announced Lasseter's hiring, a move that some viewed as controversial given the accusations that forced Lasseter to leave Pixar, including reports of unwanted hugging and touching.

"John is a singular creative and executive talent whose impact on the animation industry cannot be overstated," Ellison said in a statement at the time. "He was responsible for leading animation into the digital age, while telling incomparable stories that continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the globe."

Ellison also addressed the potential controversy Lasseter's hire may cause.

"John has acknowledged and apologized for his mistakes and, during the past year away from the workplace, has endeavored to address and reform them."

Thompson's departure from Luck seems to indicate that not everyone thinks that Lasseter's apologies and endeavors are quite enough.

News of Thompson's departure from Luck comes just a few days after Holly Edwards, a DreamWorks Animation alum, was promoted from head of production to Skydance Animation to president, putting her a position to work beside Lasseter. It's a move that a source told THR that "the bump up at Skydance is no doubt a reaction to the backlash on hiring Lasseter last month."


Overall cast for Luck, which is being directed by Alessandro Carloni, hasn't been announced but is said to follow a battle between two luck organizations -- good and bad -- with Thompson having been set to be the head of the good luck organization. While Thompson's departure presents a hurdle or sorts for the project, the film isn't set for release until 2021, giving the studio time to deal with the departure. In addition to Luck, Skydance is also working on Split, a film about a magical teenager from Linda Woolverton and Vicky Jenson, but it remains to be seen if Lasseter's hiring will have any impact on that film.

What do you think about Thompson's departure from Luck due to Lasseter's Skydance hiring? Let us know in the comments below.