Apple TV+ executives are reportedly in “prolonged conversations” to acquire two movies produced by former Pixar and Walt Disney chief creative officer John Lasseter.
The movies could be part of a larger agreement between Apple and the company Skydance Animation, which Lasseter heads up. Lasseter is one of the most successful creators in animation history. He played a key role in creating the Toy Story franchise, The Incredibles movies, Finding Dory, Frozen and more.
The two films mentioned — Luck and Spellbound — were scheduled for release in 2022. Variety notes that:
“The handful of executives who screened footage of Luck called it ‘vintage Lasseter,’ citing the dazzling production value and commercial appeal the producer is known for, said insiders.”
Luck, directed by Peggy Holmes, is about an unlucky girl who “stumbles upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck, [and] must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck” itself. Spellbound is a musical fantasy about a young girl who has to break a spell that has split her kingdom in two. Lasseter produced both.
The two movies were originally set up at Paramount. However, Skydance was contractually allowed to jump ship to another studio should it so wish. It seems like that could be what it’s about to do.
John Lasseter comes to Apple TV+ (maybe)
If this comes to fruition, it’s interesting for a couple of reasons. Apple has some history with Lasseter, who was the mastermind behind many of Pixar’s biggest hit movies. Pixar was previously owned by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who later sold the animation studio to Disney. In other words, this would be a pretty natural fit for Apple as far as talent goes. (It was Lasseter who accepted the Disney Legends award on behalf of Jobs after the Apple co-founder’s death.)
It’s also interesting because it suggests that Apple is looking to up its focus on animation with a couple of (probably sizable) acquisitions. This wouldn’t be Apple TV+’s first toe in the animation water. The streaming service already snatched up Wolfwalkers, which Cult of Mac has called the best animated movie of 2020. Nonetheless, getting an animated movie with Lasseter’s name attached is like getting a drama with Martin Scorsese directing. Come to think of it, Apple’s done that, too.