We understand that John Lasseter, Head of Animation, made the announcement in an informal staff meeting, that both he and Skydance boss David Ellison made the appointment. Edwards replaces Bill Damaschke, who previously held the title. We also hear he is departing the studio.
Edwards will serve as Lasseter’s right-hand, leading all business aspects of production activities across all titles. She has been with the Skydance team since the beginning, helping to build the department and will provide continuity as Lasseter builds the creative side of the business.
The move comes just over a month after Ellison hired Lasseter to run Skydance’s animation division, going all-in on the Pixar co-founder who had been forced to step down from his Disney perch amid allegations of inappropriate conduct. Backlash ensued almost immediately after the Skydance decision was announced; Ellison defended the hire, and Lasseter led Skydance Animation town hall meetings in which he apologized and told the 65-person team he’s ready to turn a corner in treating women properly and creating a safe environment.
One insider tells Deadline that when Lasseter spoke, “You could hear a pin drop” in the room.
Edwards is an animation vet with more than 20 years producing feature films and television. Before Skydance, she was at DreamWorks Animation, where she fostered the studio’s success by managing various aspects of film production across three intercontinental locations. As a studio executive, Edwards managed resource complexity across the entire studio’s production slate, including Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Monsters vs Aliens, and How to Train Your Dragon. Her production contributions include: co-producer, Trolls; unit producer, Penguins of Madagascar; associate producer, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Megamind.
In 2017, Skydance formed an animation and family entertainment division to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television. The first slated movie is Luck, which hits theaters in March 2021.
Skydance’s upcoming feature films include Terminator: Dark Fate, Gemini Man, 6 Underground and Top Gun: Maverick.