Emma Thompson Luck

Skydance Animation’s Luck is still years away from release, but the movie has just lost one of its stars.

According to a new report, Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has walked away from the film “because of concerns about working with” John Lasseter, the former Disney/Pixar animation guru who was hired to run Skydance Animation earlier this year.

The Hollywood Reporter says that even though Luck‘s voice cast had not been publicly announced, Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually) had already begun recording lines for a key role in the movie. The movie has previously been described as “a comedy that pulls back the curtain on the millennia-old battle between organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects our daily lives,” and this new report says Thompson was going to be voicing the head of the good luck organization.

But now she has “quietly left the project because of concerns about working with Lasseter.” In November 2017, John Lasseter stepped down from his position leading Pixar and Walt Disney Animation after sexual harassment allegations were made against him. Lasseter admitted to “missteps” and stayed quiet for a year, before being hired by Skydance chief David Ellison last month to run Skydance Animation. Ellison says he hired an outside team to investigate the allegations against Lasseter, and they chose to hire him anyway.

Thompson hasn’t gone on the record about her reasons for leaving, but her concerns may align with those of Time’s Up, the organization that seeks to provide safe working environments for women in Hollywood and beyond. That organization said that Skydance’s decision to hire Lasseter “endorses and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence,” and that it is “providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Thompson isn’t the only one refusing to work with Lasseter. Skydance has a distribution partnership with Paramount, but in the wake of Lasseter’s hiring, Paramount Animation chief Mirielle Soria reassured her team that they will no longer be working with Skydance Animation. They’d previously been “providing notes” for Luck, but Soria said that in order to maintain a safe working environment, she would be withdrawing her staff from the project.

Luck is set to arrive in theaters in 2021. Thompson’s new comedy Late Night, which we saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is said to hit theaters sometime this summer.

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