×

Paramount Animation Chief Tells Staff They Do Not Have to Work With John Lasseter

Paramount Pictures Animation president Mirielle Soria called a town hall meeting for her staff on Monday, to address angst over John Lasseter’s hire to the top of Skydance Animation, insiders familiar with the meeting told Variety.

Soria’s largely female team met on the studio lot to discuss the shock of last Wednesday’s Lasseter news, said one of the insiders. Soria fielded questions about how Paramount’s division would work with Lasseter and Skydance, which has an overall distribution deal with Paramount that includes four upcoming animated titles.

Numerous sources close to the companies said the meeting was a reflection of Soria’s personal take about the animation guru’s return to the workplace, after departing the Walt Disney Company in a cloud of misconduct accusations. Soria’s meeting did not reflect the stance of the studio at large, those sources said.

Representatives for Paramount and Skydance declined to comment on the matter.

Prior to Lasseter’s arrival, the relationship between between the two companies has been symbiotic, said the insiders. Paramount has been invited to participate in marketing and distribution strategies for Skydance projects to varying degrees. Soria told her staff that if Lasseter requested input, they are free to decline participation.

Soria was not the only executive to attend a town hall on Monday. The staff of Skydance Animation spoke with Lasseter himself for roughly 90 minutes at their mid-city Los Angeles headquarters, a “heavy” conversation that saw Lasseter field many blunt questions from the room. Lasseter was repentant for his past misdoings, a person present at the meeting told Variety, and pledged to change course in his new role.

Soria previously worked at DreamWorks Animation, where she helped shepherd the “Madagascar” franchise and “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality

    Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

    Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets. The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski, during the ceremony award

    Pawel Pawlikowski on the Power of Making Movies With ‘Barbarians at the Gate’

    Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski says he’s watching “with horror” as political developments increasingly divide countries across the globe, and admits that he’s reluctant to take a stab at documenting modern life after the success of his two critically acclaimed period dramas, foreign-language Oscar winner “Ida” and thrice-nominated “Cold War.” “I don’t have a hook [...]

  • Jessica Chastain Lupita Nyongo

    Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o Spy Thriller '355' Gets 2021 Release Date

    Universal Pictures has dated its spy thriller “355,” starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, for a Jan. 15, 2021, release. Simon Kinberg is set to direct from a script he co-wrote with Theresa Rebeck. The movie follows a group of spies from international agencies around the world. These women must bond [...]

  • Florenc Papas on Road Movies, Ancient

    ‘Open Door’ Helmer on Road Movies, Ancient Traditions, Social Pretensions

    Albanian director Florenc Papas, an alumnus of the Sarajevo Talents program, is in competition at the Sarajevo Film Festival with his feature film debut, “Open Door.” The road movie follows two sisters, Rudina and the pregnant and unmarried Elma, who embarks on a journey to visit their strict and traditional father in the remote mountain [...]

  • Dronningen/Queen of HeartsDirected by MAY EL-TOUKHYNordisk

    'Queen of Hearts,' 'White, White Day' Among Nordic Council Film Prize Contenders

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Iceland’s “A White, White Day,” Denmark’s “Queen of Hearts” and Norway’s “Blind Spot” are among the five films that will compete for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize, a prestigious film award aimed at promoting Nordic co-operation and environmental initiatives. Sweden’s “Reconstructing Utøya” and Finland’s “Aurora” help round out the list, which [...]

  • Actor Javier Bardem looking at chinstrap

    Javier Bardem on Toronto-Bound ‘Sanctuary,’ See Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Just selected as a Special Event at September’s Toronto Film Festival, Alvaro Longoria’s “Sanctuary.” starring and produced by Javier Bardem, may need a new ending. On Aug. 19, Bardem, along with Greenpeace, addressed delegates at the United Nations in New York to urge governments to agree to a strong Global Ocean Treaty. Creating [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content