Jane Fonda joins Skydance and Apple’s animated film ‘Luck’

Award-winning veteran actress Jane Fonda has officially signed on for one of the leading roles in Apple Studios and Skydance’s upcoming fantasy animated film titled Luck. This marks the two-time Oscar winner’s first animated feature after previously voicing a villain character on Disney Channel’s two animated series Elena and the Secret of Avalor and Elena of Avalor.

Fonda has a long relationship with Skydance Media as the producer and star of her famous comedy Netflix series Grace and Frankie, which is set to become Netflix’s longest-running series with the premiere of the show’s seventh season. Now, she is on board for a key role in the film that envisions colliding worlds of good and bad luck.

Luck follows the unluckiest girl in the world, who after stumbling upon the never-before-seen world of good and back luck, must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck itself.

Fonda will voice The Dragon, described as the exuberant CEO of Good Luck and an undisputed luckiest ancient being in all the land. The character is billed as being elegant, stylish and as persuasive as she is powerful. The only thing better than good luck is more good luck, so when bad luck starts to spin out of control, she must face her fears or risk losing good luck forever.

Luck will be directed by Peggy Holmes who is known for her animated features like Tinker Bell and The Pirate Fairy. It is written by another experienced animation screenwriter Kiel Murray who had earlier worked on the screenplays of Cars and Cars 2. The music will be given by Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and guitarist Tanya Donelly and an indie rock band Mt.Joy. John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and David Eisenmann are producing for Skydance Animation.

Fonda has won two Best Actress Oscars, for 1971’s Klute and 1978’s Coming Home. She also has seven Golden Globes, two BAFTA Awards, an Emmy  and two Tony nominations. She will be honoured later this month with 2021 Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globes and was the 2014 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award.

Fonda is the first talent attached to a Skydance Animation project since Emma Thompson departed a voice role in Luck in 2019. Thompson took issue with the David Ellison-run company’s hire of John Lasseter, who had resigned his post at Pixar following misconduct accusations. Insiders familiar with the project said Fonda has not replaced Thompson, but instead voices a new character, following a story overhaul from Lasseter, Holmes and Murray.

Earlier this month, Apple Studios had successfully acquired the rights to two of Skydance’s upcoming animated films as part of an overall deal with the Apple TV+. Along with Luck and Spellbound, the company also gave a two-season order to the new show The Search for WondLa

Spellbound is a new animated musical with an original score from Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The film follows a young girl who sets out to break the spell that has divided her kingdom in two. It’s directed by Vicky Jenson and written by Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin and Linda Woolverton.

The Search for WondLa is a new animated show based on the book series by Tony DiTerlizzi. The Apple Original series will be written and executive produced by showrunner Lauren Montgomery, with Chad Quant, DiTerlizzi and Gotham Group also serving as executive producers.

The deal promises more feature films and TV series to come from Apple’s multi-year pact with Skydance Animation. Luck and Spellbound were originally set up at Paramount, which has a movie deal with Skydance. That studio deal allowed the David Ellison-run Skydance to move the films at his discretion.