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4 items from 2007

Burton back at Dis in 2-pic deal

16 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Tim Burton is returning home to Disney.

Burton has signed a two-picture deal with the company that will see him direct and produce 3-D movies of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and a remake of Burton's own Frankenweenie.

The Alice adaptation will be a combination of live-action and performance capture and will be based on a script by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast). It will be produced by longtime Burton collaborator Richard Zanuck and former Disney chairman Joe Roth with Jennifer and Suzanne Todd.

Filming will begin in early 2008 with a production completion date in May '08. Disney creative executive Jason Reed will oversee the project.

Burton will then segue to produce and direct a full-length motion picture version of his cult favorite 1984 film short, Frankenweenie, about a pet dog who is brought back to life by his loyal owner in a very unusual way. The film will be shot in stop-motion animation

Both movies will be presented in Disney Digital 3-D. »

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11 candles for AFI's big 4-0

13 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

AFI is celebrating its 40th anniversary by screening 11 classic American films simultaneously and hosting an iconic star or director from each.

The event, set for 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at the 14-screen ArcLight Hollywood, will include such Hollywood notables as Kirk Douglas introducing Spartacus, George Lucas presenting Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope and Julie Andrews introducing The Sound of Music.

Other stars scheduled to appear include Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde), Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) and Tippi Hedren (The Birds).

Representing more recent Hollywood fare will be Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally ...), Angela Lansbury (Beauty and the Beast), Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption).

"What better way to celebrate 40 years of AFI than to bring together movie artists and moviegoers in the flickering light of these classic American films," AFI president and CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg said.

Tickets for the event, sponsored by Target, can be purchased beginning Wednesday at or the ArcLight boxoffice. »

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Sanders gets 'Crood' for DWA

28 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Embarking on his first outing with DreamWorks Animation, Chris Sanders is set to helm the upcoming CG-animated feature Crood Awakening.

The screenplay, described as a comedy set in the stone age, was written by John Cleese and Kirk De Micco.

DreamWorks plans to release Crood in stereoscopic 3-D, as well as 2-D. This reflects DWA's intention to produce all of its films in stereoscopic 3-D technology starting in 2009, which was announced this month.

"Chris is one of the most inventive and imaginative filmmakers I've ever worked with," DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said. "His unique storytelling style and sensibility are perfectly suited for 'Crood Awakening.' It is such a pleasure to collaborate with him once again on another exciting project. We are so happy to have him on board at DreamWorks."

"I look forward to working with Jeffrey and the other filmmakers at DreamWorks Animation," Sanders said. "They have dedicated themselves to a complex and classic craft, but have also proven that they are driven to take it to new places."

Sanders joins the studio with a list of family film and television credits, most recently as a writer-director of the Walt Disney Co.'s Lilo & Stitch. He served as a story writer on Disney's Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, and as a writer on Mulan. De Micco's credits include Racing Stripes.

DreamWorks' original announcement of plans to produce Crood was made in 2005 with Aardman Animations, which at the time had a five-picture deal with the studio. »

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Howard tapped to lead Exodus

8 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Max Howard has been named president of Exodus Film Group, Exodus CEO John Eraklis said Wednesday.

Howard has held posts as president of Warner Bros. Feature Animation and senior vp at Disney Feature Animation.

"Max is one of the most talented and experienced animation executives in the business today," Eraklis said. "His track record of building outstanding animation teams worldwide is unparalleled."

During his 12 years at Disney, Howard collaborated on such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas and The Lion King. At Warners, he oversaw The Iron Giant and Space Jam. More recently, he was an executive producer on DreamWorks Animation's Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

Exodus is working on the CG-animated feature Igor, set for fall 2008 release by the Weinstein Co.

Igor, with a voice cast that includes Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, Jay Leno, Jennifer Coolidge, Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi and John Cleese, is a comic version of the classic monster tale about an evil scientist and his lab assistant. Tony Leondis is directing the screenplay by Chris McKenna. »

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