Recently, Emma Watts replaced Stacey Snider as the President of 20th Century Fox, which has been recently rebranded as 20th Century Studios along with Searchlight Pictures (formerly Fox Searchlight).
Deadline has word directly from Disney that Watts has resigned from her position at 20th Century Studios.
Emma Watts has just resigned as President of Production, Twentieth Century Studios. Her existing creative team remains in place and a new leader is expected to be named in the coming weeks. Disney reports there are no current changes to Twentieth Century Studios’ development or release slate.
Watts had been involved closely with Ridley Scott’s Alien prequels, the X-Men franchise, and most recently helping James Cameron with his multiple Avatar sequels. She was asked to take the President position after Disney acquired the studio leading to the exit of Stacey Snider and Emma would work directly under Disney’s Alan Horn.
Here is an official statement Emma Watts emailed to her team about her resignation (via Deadline).
I am writing to you today to share that, after much reflection, I’ve made the difficult decision to step away from Twentieth Century.
Over the past many months, it has been my top priority to continue to foster great filmmaking while leading this team successfully through the integration period with Disney. After reaching this point, I approached Alan and Alan, realizing that it was now time for me to pursue new opportunities.
I started at Fox 22 years ago — Titanic was in theaters, George Lucas had just announced his second Star Wars trilogy, and X-Men was in development. I was a young creative executive eager to learn the business, and from day one I was welcomed. Who knew that together we would add Night at the Museum, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Martian, Deadpool, Logan, Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story and, of course, Jim Cameron’s Avatar to the studio’s already storied legacy. It was a front-row seat to an incredible evolution culminating in Fox becoming a part of one of the greatest media companies that continues to shape our industry on a global scale.
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.
I’ll be here and available for the next few weeks to support the transition process.
All the best,
They also mention that there are no plans to change the current slate of releases.
Emma and Ridley Scott at one point were discussing what the third Alien prequel could be, it remains to be seen if Emma’s replacement or Disney would want to continue the projects she was developing behind the scenes with various filmmakers and screenwriters.
It’ll be interesting to see what the next direction will be for 20th Century Studios and their future projects.
This wouldn’t be the only shake-up at studios and likely won’t be the last, every couple of years studio leadership changes and new people are elevated to higher positions or switch studios.
Sony Pictures’ Tom Rothman used to be at 20th Century Fox.