TheButcher wrote:Will Ferrell & Liam Neeson Among Additions To ‘Lego’ Pic Voice Cast
Dave McNary wrote:Warner Bros. is amping up animated movies, forming a think tank-style creative consortium that's aimed at delivering one "high-end" film per year.
Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, made the announcement Monday. The consortium includes John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, ("Crazy, Stupid, Love.," "Cats & Dogs"); Nicholas Stoller ("The Muppets"); Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"); and Jared Stern ("Mr. Popper's Penguins").
Studio said the filmmakers will work both individually and collectively without being exclusive, so they will also continue to write and direct live-action movies.
"Warner Bros. has an extraordinary legacy in the world of animation, including some of the most enduring characters in cinema history," Robinov said. "Looking to the future, we have now gathered some of the best and brightest talents in the industry to help us grow and broaden that legacy. Drawing upon their imaginations and inspiration, the Studio will produce a slate of new and original animated films that are sure to delight audiences of all ages."
Despite its history as home to the Looney Tunes characters, Warner Bros. has been relatively light compared with rivals in producing animated fare over the past decade. Its "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" hybrid flopped in 2003 while its best performer was 2006's "Happy Feet" with $384 million in worldwide grosses. The two most recent animated films -- 2010's "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" and the "Happy Feet" sequel -- turned in middling results with $140 million and $150 million respectively in worldwide grosses.
The consortium has been operating informally for several months and "The Lego Movie," directed by Lord and Miller from their own screenplay is the first feature to emerge from it. "Lego" is produced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee and stars the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, and Morgan Freeman.
Warner is releasing "Lego" on Feb. 7, 2014. Most of the animation is being produced by Australia-based Animal Logic.
The 2015 film will be "Storks," conceived and being written by Nicholas Stoller and to be directed by Doug Sweetland, who directed the Pixar "Presto." The 2016 title is set to be "Smallfoot," to be written by Requa and Ficarra, from an original idea by Sergio Pablos ("Despicable Me"), who is also set to direct.
Warner execs Courtenay Valenti, Chris deFaria and Greg Silverman are overseeing the consortium.
Studio has been putting other animated projects into development such as "The Tower Ravens," with Steve Carell's Carousel Prods; and Kevin and Dan Hageman's pitch for a live-action/CGI hybrid about the fictional Acme Corp., the purveyor of outlandish products shown in vintage Looney Tunes cartoons.
Lou Scheimer’s autobiographical Filmation history is a must read for anyone interested in the formative years of "Saturday Morning Cartoons."
DAVID LIEBERMAN wrote:The studio will unveil the details soon, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says this morning. But the production to follow the SpongeBob SquarePants movie due in 2014 will be “based on original IP [intellectual property] and will have consumer products possibilities.” It will put Paramount “very much on track to begin with one [animated] release per year.” And the CEO tried to reassure investors that he won’t break the bank. Viacom will spend less than $100M and budgets “in some cases [will be] significantly below.” Dauman began planning to build an animation operation at Paramount as he anticipated the possible loss of its distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation when their contract expired at the end of 2012. In August, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s studio agreed to let Fox distribute its films beginning this year.
David Kobylanski wrote:#1 Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
Some may be surprised that it’s a book that came before this animated special, but it’s the 1966 special that catapulted the made-up word “grinch” into modern vernacular. Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated the original book, which was published in 1957 under the still-famous penname of Dr. Seuss. Written in rhyme verse, the style would eventually translate perfectly into the television special to accommodate the new songs that were written to bring Dr. Seuss’ book to the television screen.
Boris Karloff, in one of his final roles, narrated the film and provided the speaking voice of The Grinch. While his appearances as Frankenstein may be his lasting image, it’s his vocal contribution to Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas that will carry the sound of the man forever on. But to bring the special to life took not just a concept, but also execution. For instance, tunes were required to inject melody into this cartoon. Case in point: “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” a song written by Dr. Seuss, composed by Albert Hague and performed by Thurl Ravenscroft. And even color needed to be addressed when it came to this picture book. Originally printed in black, white and shades of red, the Grinch’s tint of green never actually happened until the television special came to fruition. And so, to monitor all that execution, Chuck Jones was brought in. In his career up to his death, spanning over 60 years, Jones made more than 300 animated films. But at the time he was brought in to direct How The Grinch Stole Christmas, he was most recognized for his work at Warner Bros. During the Golden Age of animation, Chuck Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros. most famous characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. The list of characters he created himself includes Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin The Martian, Pepe Le Pew, Michigan J. Frog and many others.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas has met no bounds. What was once interpreted into a television special that became a classic on home screens was also reinterpreted into a 2000 live-action movie with Jim Carrey for the silver screen, a musical for the stage and annual merchandising, from ornaments to figurines, for our home decor. Somewhat ironic as the TV special satirized the commercialization of Christmas, but maybe that’s all the point. Maybe it’s not necessary to eliminate commercialization as long as you remember that the worth of anything isn’t just a price tag. With its heart from atop Mount Crumpit, as seen on TV, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas takes our #1 candy cane on the countdown for showing that Christmas doesn’t just come from a store because it means a little bit more.
Borys Kit wrote:The Grinch is coming back to theaters.
Universal and its Illumination Entertainment division are developing a 3D animated version of the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Peter Candeland is set to direct, with Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri producing. Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss author Theodor Geisel, will executive produce.
Grinch, written in 1957, famously was adapted in 1966 into a half-hour TV animated special that continues to air during the holiday season. Universal made a live-action film version in 2000 starring Jim Carrey. Despite offending Seuss purists, it grossed $260 million domestically. That movie set in motion a relationship between Universal and the Geisel estate, which collaborated on a 2003 live-action The Cat in the Hat film starring Mike Myers ($101 million domestic).
Meledandri also has a history with Seuss adaptations. He executive produced Fox's 2008 animated version of Horton Hears a Who!, which led to him making 2012's The Lorax under his Illumination banner at Universal.
Candeland is an up-and-coming director of commercials and music videos with no major film credits. He is repped by Verve.
There is no writer yet attached to the new Grinch movie.
Justin Kroll wrote:The holidays have come and gone, but Illumination is already at work on bringing a classic Christmas anti-hero to the bigscreen, as the toon shop is developing "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas!" with Pete Candeland set to direct.
Universal Pictures will handle worldwide distribution with Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri producing. Audrey Geisel will exec produce.
Though the Chuck Jones 1966 animated pic is widely considered one of the most popular adaptations of any Seuss book, it's no surprise that Illumination is putting a new spin on "Grinch," given the reslationship the studio has built with the Seuss estate.
Pic will mark Meledandri's third Dr. Seuss adaptation after "Horton Hears a Who" -- which was through Fox and his Blue Sky Studios banner -- and "The Lorax," which made $348 million worldwide. Illumination is also developing a "Cat in the Hat" adaptation and an untitled "Dr. Seuss" live-action biopic.
While no release date has been set and a writer is now being sought, insiders say "How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" will be the next Dr. Seuss adaptation Illumination to bow in theaters.
Sources say the plan is to stay faithful to the book, and that given how the original story organically lends it self to a three-act structure, there won't be as much of a need to invent certain material like with "Horton Hears a Who" and "The Lorax."
Insiders add that there will opportunity to explore the story from a perspective more in line with underlying tones of the book -- and distinguish it from the Universal's 2000 live-action remake starring Jim Carrey.
By the time the film makes it to theaters, it should be close to the 50th anniversary of the Chuck Jones pic's debut on television. Initial plans are to put the element of Cindy Lou Who's ultimate optimistic attitude and the Grinch's ultimate pessimitic attitude at the heart of the story.
There is also the opportunity to reach new audiences around the world: "The Grinch" is a completely known property in English-speaking territories but not so much in others.
The Verve-repped Candeland has no big features under his belt, having only worked as animator on projects like "Balto" and "Aladdin: The Animated series"; he's best known for his work music videos for The Gorillaz, is also currently developing "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" for Disney. But Illumination has rolled the dice on tyro helmers to good effect, like "Despicable Me" helmer Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin. Sources say Illumination execs liked Candeland's distinct look and style for "Grinch."
Contact Justin Kroll at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave McNary wrote:Just in time for Halloween — The durable Addams Family is heading for another incarnation, this time as an MGM animated movie.
MGM is in final negotiations with BermanBraun’s Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun to produce an animated film based on the comedically macabre clan, based on the cartoons created by Charles Addams.
Pamela Pettler, whose credits include “Corpse Bride” and “Monster House,” has been signed to write the screenplay. The film will be exec produced by Andrew Mittman and Kevin Miserocchi.
The Addams Family originated in 150 single panel cartoons by Addams, about half of which were published in The New Yorker between 1938 and Addams’ death in 1988. The characters became famous through ABC’s sitcom, which ran for two seasons between 1964 and 1966 and led to several other TV series, two Paramount live-action films and most recently a Broadway musical.
Chris Meledandri’s Illumination had been developing a Tim Burton-helmed, stop-motion “The Addams Family” movie, but disclosed earlier this year that it had ditched the project.
MGM and BermanBraun announced in June that they had signed a first-look film deal as part of an overall pact to develop content across broadcast and cable.
BermanBraun’s roster of shows include NBC’s series “Camp,” HGTV’s “Garage Sale Wars” and Showtime’s “Polyamory.” The banner is also developing Ben Stiller’s “Rentaghost” at Fox and an adaptation of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.”
BermanBraun also announced last week that it was teaming with AOL to overhaul the Moviefone service as a broader destination for entertainment news and content.
Dave McNary wrote:Paramount Pictures’ fledgling animation division has tapped Oscar winner John Kahrs to direct “Shedd.”
Tripper Clancy is writing the script, which is based on an original idea from Paramount’s Film Group president Adam Goodman, who oversees the animation division. The studio is keeping the logline under wraps.
Kahrs received the Oscar last year for the Disney animated short “Paperman.”
Paramount revved up its internal toon production operation in 2012 as it prepped for the end of its distribution pact with DreamWorks Animation, which has since signed its output deal with Fox. The division’s first title is a sequel to Nickelodeon’s 2004 toon “SpongeBob SquarePants” with a release set for Feb. 3, 2015.
Kahrs’ credits as animator include “The Incredibles,” “Bolt,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Ratatouille.”
Clancy recently sold buddy-comedy pitch “Winter Break” to Bill Block’s QED International, and his road-trip comedy “Ambassadors” is set up at Fox with Danny Boon attached to direct.
Kahrs is repped by WME. Clancy is repped by UTA and Benderspink.
Dave McNary wrote:With “The Lego Movie” topping $200 million in worldwide grosses, Warner Bros. has set the sequel to open on May 26, 2017.
The untitled sequel is the first movie to be be set for that date. Warner Bros. confirmed four days before the film opened on Feb. 7 that it had tapped screenwriters Jared Stern and Michelle Morgan to write the script for the sequel.
“The Lego Movie” is poised to win its third straight weekend at the U.S. box office, where it has grossed $151 million in its first two weeks. The computer-animated comedy has taken in another $52 million in 42 international markets and is adding France and Italy this weekend, followed by Russia on Feb. 27, Japan on March 21, Australia on April 3 and Germany on April 10.
Stern, who wrote “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” was one of the half-dozen writers announced a year ago by Warner Bros. as part of its animation consortium aimed at revving up its production of high-end toons.
“The Lego Movie” is the first project to emerge from the consortium. “Lego” is produced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee, with Chris Lord and Phil Miller directing with voices by Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie and Morgan Freeman. Most of the animation was produced by Australia-based Animal Logic.
Jay A. Fernandez, Borys Kit wrote: Kevin and Dan Hageman have sold an original pitch to Warner Bros. that could very well blow up in their faces.
The Hageman brothers came up with the idea to build a feature film around the fictional ACME warehouse -- the manufacturer of anything and everything used by many of the Looney Tunes characters, most fatefully Wile E. Coyote in his quest to catch the Road Runner. The writers brought their concept to producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who helped develop the project further.
The hope now is to build a franchise out of the Warners-owned property (the company owns Looney Tunes).
The plan is to make a live-action CG hybrid featuring the many outlandish devices of the company in a tone that recalls the Amblin pics of the 1980s or a Men in Black-style movie. It will not feature the Looney Tunes characters.
The deal was in the mid-six figures. Warner exec Jon Berg will oversee the project, and Lin Pictures' Mark Bauch will co-produce.
Pamela McClintock & Dave McNary wrote:Warner Bros. has picked up Kevin and Dan Hageman’s high-concept pitch for a live-action/CGI hybrid about the fictional Acme Corp., the purveyor of outlandish products shown in vintage Looney Tunes cartoons.
Untitled pic won’t feature characters from the Looney Tunes universe, even though Acme products appeared most prominently in the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote series — often with disastrous results for Wile E. Coyote.
Warners, like other studios, is always looking for ways to mine its stable of characters and stories.
In this case, the Hageman brothers came up with an approach that caught the studio’s attention.
Mark Bauch is co-producing and Jon Berg is overseeing for the studio.
Dan Lin and Roy Lee are producing the pic, a potential franchise for the studio. Lin’s a Warner-based producer on the “Sherlock Holmes” pics and “Godzilla.” Lee’s also a producer on “Godzilla.”
The Hagemans are repped by CAA and Underground Entertainment.
Adam Chitwood wrote:Warner Bros. is also developing a film based on the ACME company with Lin onboard as a producer, and he provided some details on what the live-action film entails:“Tom and Jerry is on hold right now, but ACME is moving forward. We’re really excited about it; we’re hearing different takes on it from writers. It is a live action movie not an animated movie and we’re really using the inspiration of Wile E. Coyote and ACME, a company that makes everything, as the inspiration for big, live-action family adventure movie.”
Lin went on to add, though, that the ACME film won’t have anything to do with Looney Tunes:“We’re not going to use Looney Tunes in the ACME movie, it’s a live action movie. What were so excited about is the lead character is sort of a Steve Jobs kind of character and because it’s ACME you can create some incredibly funny, wacky inventions that you can’t do on any other movie. So naturally it’s just a super imaginative movie.”
Al Shut wrote:Is that a 'Farewell to weapons' adaptation I spot in the Short Peace trailer?
NELLIE ANDREEVA wrote:Register joined WBA in November 2007 as a producer with a development and production deal and was named EVP Creative Affairs a year later. During his tenure, he has mined the studio library, reviving some of Warner Bros’ most popular animated brands. Current WBA television series developed and supervised by him include Teen Titans Go!, The Tom And Jerry Show, and the upcoming Be Cool Scooby-Doo! and Wabbit – A Looney Tunes Production, for Cartoon Network, as well as the upcoming Mike Tyson Mysteries for Adult Swim. Register also oversees creative efforts for WBA’s animated shorts, and he works closely with Warner Bros Home Entertainment on the studio’s original animated movies, including recent titles Justice League: War, Son Of Batman and Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery.
Todd Spangler wrote:Netflix will bow its first original anime series, “Knights of Sidonia,” on July 4 with all 12 episodes available in all the streamer’s territories.
The dystopian series, based on the popular Japanese manga series of the same name by Tsutomu Nihei, follows Nagate, a low-born youth among genetically engineered refugees who escaped the destruction of Earth a thousand years earlier and now occupy the massive spaceship, Sidonia. When Nagate’s talent as a pilot is revealed he becomes one of Sidonia’s elite defenders against the Guana, shape-shifting aliens bent on eliminating humans from existence.
Series is produced by Tokyo-based Polygon Pictures, co-produced and co-funded by King Record Co. and Kodansha Co. “Knights of Sidonia” aired on Japanese TV in April.
Lesley Goldberg wrote:Disney Television Animation is celebrating the 45th anniversary of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion attraction in a big way.
The studio is developing a Disney Channel and Disney XD animated special inspired by the ghoulishly fun popular theme park attraction, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, the animation unit has extended its overall deal with Emmy-winning Phineas and Ferb co-creator and executive producer Dan Povenmire to develop new projects and ordered three animated pilots.
The Haunted Mansion special will be animated by legendary horror genre artist and children's book illustrator Gris Grimly (Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes), who also will exec produce and art direct. Scott Peterson (Phineas and Ferb) will serve as writer, EP and story editor. Joshua Pruett (Phineas and Ferb) is on board as a consulting producer and writer.
Very Important House
Hails from Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim) and character designer Jenny Goldberg (Rick and Morty) and centers on 11-year-old Frolie, who moves into the Very Important House and suddenly finds herself in the role of caretaker of the universe.
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