Skydance Animation's First Film 'Luck' Lands New Director (Exclusive)

Peggy Holmes - Publicity - H 2020
Alex Berliner
'Secret of the Wings' filmmaker Peggy Holmes will replace Alessandro Carloni on the project from the John Lasseter-run production company.

Peggy Holmes has come aboard to direct Luck, Skydance Animation’s first animated feature that is currently in production.

Holmes takes up the mantle from Alessandro Carloni, the Kung Fu Panda 3 co-director who was due to make his solo helming debut with Luck and is now exiting the project over creative differences.

Holmes is a steady hand in animation circles. She shares directing credit on two of the most successful features from Disney’s Disneytoon division, the Fairies franchise entries Secret of the Wings and The Pirate Fairy, and made her debut with the home entertainment release The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning. Holmes also had an extensive career as a choreographer, working on movies such as Newsies and Hocus Pocus and segueing to animation via choreography work in direct-to-home animated releases such as Disney's Kronk’s New Groove. She joined Skydance last year with a development deal.

Holmes' appointment comes amid questions about the environment at Skydance Animation after Pixar and Disney Animation head John Lasseter came on board. Lasseter was forced to leave his former role at Disney after allegations of behavioral misconduct against women. His appointment at Skydance led Emma Thompson to drop out as the lead voice star of Luck, publicly calling out the company for hiring Lasseter.

The move also comes at a time when female directors are making strides but Hollywood establishment is still receiving criticism for not doing enough, especially with Monday's news that women were shut out of the best director category in the 2020 Oscar nominations.

"Peggy is an incredible creative talent and has already been a huge asset to our growing animation studio over the past year," Skydance Animation president Holly Edwards said Tuesday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "We’re so happy to have her leading the team creating Luck. She has the perfect mix of experience and artistic vision to bring this exciting project to the screen."

Luck is described a comedy that pulls back the curtain on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects our daily lives. The movie is being produced by Skydance Animation and Paramount Pictures in conjunction with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios. Paramount will distribute.