Emma Watts, President of Production at Disney’s 20th Century Studios, has resigned. Disney is expected to name a new leader for her existing creative team in the coming weeks, according to Deadline.

  • Disney has reported there are no changes to the planned 20th Century Studios development of release dates.
  • Watts was kept in her position after Disney’s acquisition of Fox last spring, with the plan for her to continue to oversee the production of films for both the big screen and Hulu.
  • She was also planned to be a key executive in overseeing the upcoming Avatar sequels.
  • According to Deadline, her departure was not a result of her being forced out but rather her call.
  • Some of the recent films Watts has overseen have included:
    • Academy Award nominee for Best Picture Ford v. Ferrari 
    • Four-time Oscar winner Bohemian Rhapsody
    • The Night at the Museum franchise
    • The X-men series and the spinoff Logan
    • Deadpool
  • Some of the upcoming projects Watts was set to oversee include Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy and Steven Spielberg’s take on West Side Story.
  • Spielberg addressed Watt’s exit, saying “Emma is a studio executive in title, but a filmmaker at heart. Her support and willingness to take risks is what this business has always thrived on. I can’t wait to see what Emma does next and I’ll work with her again on anything at any time.”
  • Reynolds tweeted about Watts, saying “Deadpool would never have happened without Emma Watts. And certainly wouldn’t have been as good. I hope to continue working with her wherever she decides to go.”
  • Watts has not shared any information regarding her immediate plans.

What they’re saying:

  • Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn and co-chairman Alan Bergman: “Emma has made many wonderful contributions to Fox over the past two decades, shepherding a number of memorable films to the screen. We truly appreciate and thank her for her commitment and partnership in overseeing the transition in this past year and wish her the best.”
  • An excerpt from Emma Watts’ email to her team: “Disney has an immensely gifted and creative leadership team, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the expanded company. Even more so, I am deeply grateful for the time I’ve spent with all of you. Thank you for your dedication to supporting great talent and storytelling, and above all, for your friendship.”