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This week Neil Calloway unexpectedly finds himself in agreement with the guy from Tenacious D…
It pains me to say it, but Jack Black had a point.
During his interjection into the opening song of last week’s Oscars, Black jokingly bemoaned the current state of cinema, complaining about sequels, prequels and comic book movies. It’s a familiar argument, and one that has been made before – one that I make regularly myself, to be honest. Given that it was a funny, but throwaway line during an award ceremony, you’d expect it to be forgotten quite quickly. Not so, it seems. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, wrote on Facebook that he didn’t find it offensive, before devoting 300 words as to why it was wrong.
This puzzled me. If I had just directed a film that was nudging close to $800 million at the box office, I »
- Neil Calloway
Eager to get Kung Fu Panda 3 off the ground, Dreamworks Animation has added another director to the animated threequel. According to Deadline, Alessandro Carloni will help Kung Fu Panda 2‘s Jennifer Yuh pick up the pace and get the film into theaters.
Carloni doesn’t yet have a feature film under his belt, but worked in the animation department for several big Dreamworks projects, including the How to Train Your Dragon films, The Croods, and the first two Kung Fu Panda pics. It was Yuh who actually requested that Carloni come aboard, and Dreamworks obliged.
In an effort to recover from the recent box office disappointments that were Turbo, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and Penguins of Madagascar, Dreamworks will soon lean heavily on sequels to some of their bigger films, like How To Train Your Dragon 3, and The Croods 2, as well as a Captain Underpants adaptation. They also have »
- James Garcia
Kung Fu Panda 3 has been coming together slowly and steadily for the past few years, but now DreamWorks Animation and director Jennifer Yuh are bringing on some help to pick up the pace. Alessandro Carloni, who worked on both previous Kung Fu Panda movies, will join Yuh as co-director of the upcoming sequel. More on […]
The post ‘Kung Fu Panda 3′ Adds a Second Director appeared first on /Film. »
- Angie Han
Exclusive: Jennifer Yuh will not be helming the latest installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise by herself, I’ve learned. DreamWorks Animation has brought in Alessandro Carloni to co-direct Kung Fu Panda 3 with Yuh, the first woman to direct an animated feature solo at a Hollywood studio when she helmed 2011’s Kung Fu Panda 2. Sources tell me that Yuh requested Carloni join her as a director on the pic and Dwa execs signed off quickly. In the case of adding Carloni to… »
Kinology has sold the toonpic to Switzerland (Praesens), Freeman (Eastern Europe/except Poland), Greece (Odeon) and Portugal (Cine Mundo). “Mune” previously sold to Notorious Pictures (Italy), Smile Entertainment (South Korea), Gulf Films (Middle East), Domo Media (China), Zoom Entertainment (India), Volga Films (Cis) and Blitz (Former Yugoslavia).
A U.S. studio is reportedly circling “Mune” to take on various territories, including North America.
“Mune” will have its North American premiere at the Gkids’ New York Intl. Film Festival in March.
Set in an imaginary universe where the sun and the moon must be protected by guardians, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Here at Shadowlocked, we're fans of crowd-funding projects, as well as anything awesome. And few things say 'just plain awesome' as well as 'red panda samurai comic book'. It's even written by J.S. Skye, who shares his name with one of the best characters on Marvel's Agents of Shield. This project is almost a perfect example of The Lego Movie's song Everything is Awesome.
(Okay, technically samurai warriors had a strange code of honour which seemed to incorporate little regard for human life; the glorification of which hamstrings Ed Zwick's otherwise excellent film The Last Samurai. But let's not quibble. It's a red panda we're talking about. There's no way he's not the hero.)
Film scores are pretty ephemeral to a large chunk of the movie-going populace, where music isn’t noticeable unless a triumphant fanfare or sweeping ballad draws enough attention to itself. So if scoring is already the film industry’s unappreciated middle child, how silly is a list about ones that haven’t been released yet? Very silly. Oftentimes, composers don’t even sign with a project until well into production, so speculating on the best film music of 2015, like any year, forces one to work with what’s known. Sound on Sight will offer more in-depth analysis on the most buzzed about music as the year rolls on but for now, here are the ten movie scores I’m most excited to hear in 2015.
Alan Silvestri’s last great score was for a TV show, and his last great film score was for one of the more forgettable Marvel entries. »
- David Klein
Pascal, who will remain at Sony in a new role as a producer, has long been known around town for her keen eye for winning projects. Though her reputation has suffered recently as a result of North Korea’s infamous hacking attack on the studio, which revealed a few unseemly email exchanges in which Pascal and other execs criticized the attitudes of A-listers and made racially tinged jokes at the expense of President Obama, Pascal steered the studio through her share of triumphs.
Any career as long as Pascal’s is bound to have its peaks and valleys. From the highest heights (“Skyfall,” “Spider-Man 2”) to the lowest lows (“Jack and Jill,” “Sparkle”), Pascal led Sony through it all. Here’s a look »
- Kevin Noonan and Marianne Zumberge
Open Road Films has recently acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the animated family film "Blazing Samurai." The film is described as being "loosely based" on the 1974 Mel Brooks film "Blazing Saddles," which was, in turn, a spoof of '50s/'60s cowboy movies. The official synopsis reads: "An action-packed comedy about a scrappy young dog named Hank who fights to save the town of Kakamucho from becoming the litter box of a nefarious feline warlord, transforming society and himself on his quest to become a true samurai." Open Road Films recently distributed "Nightcrawler," starring Jake Gyllanhaal, and the company's upcoming features include Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden biopic and Barry Levinson's "Rock The Kasbah." "Blazing Samurai" is directed by Chris Bailey ("Alvin and the Chipmunks") and Mark Koetsier ("Kung Fu Panda," "How To Train Your Dragon") from a screenplay »
- Elizabeth Logan
The Academy Awards telecast is one of the biggest live events on TV, and for good reason. When it does its job right, the Oscars can be fun, loose, and spontaneous; like it was when Seth MacFarlane hosted in 2013. Of course, the opposite side of the coin is a night full of social media pandering, over-bloated gags, and just a general lack of enjoyable material; much like last year's ceremony entailed. With such recent history looming over his head, Neil Patrick Harris is going to need all the help he can get to make this year's show something legen . help me milk the cow here . dary. Lucky for him, he's got a pro helping him out for one of this year's segments: comedy all-star, Jack Black. The Academy has officially announced that the Kung Fu Panda himself is going to be in what Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron »
I thought for the longest time that I would be able to live my entire life without seeing a remake of Mel Brooks' genius 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles. Sadly, new developments have made it apparent that won't be the case - but the weird twist that comes with this story is that what's being made is far from a standard remake. This version will not only be animated, but feature dogs, cats and samurais. Deadline has picked up news that Open Road Films has acquired a new project called Blazing Samurai that is said to be "loosely based on the iconic 1974 film Blazing Saddles." Helmed by first-time feature directors Chris Bailey (who served as an animation supervisor on the first two Alvin and the Chipmunks movies) and Mark Koetsier (a story artist on Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon), the new family film is said to center »
Gfm Films is handling international sales in Berlin Film Festival and providing production funding.
The story revolves around a scrappy young dog who fights to save a town from becoming the litter box of a nefarious feline warlord.
Open Road’s first animated release was “The Nut Job,” which grossed $64 million last year in the U.S.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Tom Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Peter Lawson. »
- Dave McNary
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
Park City, Utah -- For "The D Train," Jack Black stepped back into a familiar, loveable loser type role. But he also landed back into making an independent film, a fix that had been fulfilled previously by flicks like "Bernie" and "Be Kind Rewind." While Black has big studio releases -- including another "Kung Fu Panda" film and "Goosebumps" -- forthcoming, he told HitFix he loves the "indie-fresh lifestyle." "I love making a movie in 3 weeks," he said, tipping his hat to other outstanding performances from co-stars like James Marsden in "D Train." Black's plate is also full with band duties as his rock troupe Tenacious D (with Kyle Gass) is plotting a European tour and, after: "We're gonna come back and write the next album." Watch our whole interview in the video player above. "The D Train" plays all week at Sundance. »
- Katie Hasty
The Television Academy has tapped DreamWorks Animation alum Susan Spencer to oversee marketing and PR as the org prepares for a burst of activity surrounding the construction of a media center on its North Hollywood campus, among other initiatives.
As senior VP of media and brand management, Spencer will be tasked with burnishing the TV Academy’s image as it counts down to its 70th anniversary. The Acad this year will also mount a campaign to educate voters as it expands electronic voting for the Primetime Emmy Awards.
Spencer reports to TV Academy president-coo Maury McIntyre.
“Susan has a proven track record as one of the entertainment world’s most effective marketers,” said McIntyre. “The Academy is at the forefront of a remarkable moment of innovation for the industry and Susan will play a key leadership role in this transformation.”
Spencer was most recently head of national promotions and marketing »
- Debra Birnbaum
Seoul – Cj E&M, South Korea’s largest entertainment conglomerate, announced production of “Robot Trains Rt,” a television series that marks the launch of the company’s foray into animation.
The announcement was made at a launch ceremony in Seoul on Friday.
The unit is expected to be involved in a wide range of animation activities, ranging from content development and investment, production and distribution, to licensing and character production. Initial investment this year is expected to be $15 million.
The new division will pay particular attention to the Chinese market, where the government is slowly easing its decades-long birth-control program, known as the ‘one-child policy.’ That is expected to give a boost to children’s entertainment content. In the first half of this year, the Cj division plans to set up a team solely dedicated to developing animation business in China.
“Our goal is to obtain a prominent position as Asia’s leading animation company. »
- Sonia Kil
“Making three films a year was too ambitious,” Katzenberg told analysts after announcing a major reorganization of the Glendale, Calif., toon studio that is resulting in layoffs of around 500 people, including its chief marketing officer, Dawn Taubin, and chief operating officer, Mark Zoradi. Chief creative officer Bill Damaschke already had stepped down, while vice chairman and former chief financial officer Lew Coleman is retiring.
After a string of box office misfires that have included “Rise of the Guardians,” “Turbo,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and, more recently, “The Penguins of Madagascar” — forcing the company to write off more than $290 million in losses — Dwa was forced to make changes.
- Marc Graser
“I am confident that this strategic plan will deliver great films, better box office results, and growing profitability across our complementary businesses,” says CEO Jeffrey...
DreamWorks Animation will release two films per year, down from three, and cut approximately 500 jobs across the board in a restructuring of its core feature animation business, the company announced Thursday.
As part of the restructuring, top brass including Dawn Taubin, the studio’s marketing chief, Vice Chairman Lou Coleman and COO Mark Zoradi are leaving the company. The studio currently employs around 2,200 staff members and the cuts would make up about 18% of its workforce. »
- Linda Ge
Golden Globe winner guest stars on Season 3 as a billionaire movie producer who comes to Ray (Liev Schreiber) for help
The Golden Globe-winning actor will guest star as Malcolm Finney, a rich and famous movie producer who hires Ray (Liev Schreiber) to help his family out during a potentially catastrphoic situation, in a season-long arc on the pay-cable drama.
See Photos: Fall TV Preview: 85 New and Returning Shows
He earned his Golden Globe and also an Emmy nomination for playing foul-mouthed power broker Al Swearengen on »
- Travis Reilly
Around 150 to 400 employees are expected to be affected at the company’s Glendale and Redwood City, Calif., outposts, Variety has learned. Bill Damaschke, Dwa’s chief creative officer, had already stepped down.
Those most likely impacted will be animators, storyboard artists and other production personnel, according to sources.
Steve Hulett, business representative for the Animation Guild, told Variety that members began reporting layoffs last week. “We began hearing from members that they were getting laid off, but the company hasn’t responded to our inquiries,” Hulett said.
The Animation Guild operates as Local 839 of the Intl. Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees.
Dwa has yet to acknowledge the layoffs, saying, “We can’t comment on rumor and speculation.”
Any staff reduction »
- Marc Graser and Dave McNary
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