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Stephen Chow Developing Epic ‘Monkey King’ With Pearl Studio

Stephen Chow Developing Epic ‘Monkey King’ With Pearl Studio
Annecy, France — Legendary Chinese director Stephen Chow, the man behind 2004’s dark-horse hit “Kung Fu Hustle,” is in development on ‘The Monkey King’ with Pearl Studio, the Shanghai-based animation company announced Thursday at the Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival.

The studio also unveiled that young actor Albert Tsai, Tensing Norgay Trainor, the grandson of Tensing Norgay, the first man to reach the summit of Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary, and Tsai Chin will be joining “Agents of Shield’s” Chloe Bennet in its upcoming feature “Abominable.”

The announcements came as Pearl detailed its upcoming slate of animated feature productions, backstory and ambitions, straight from the mouths of animation legends Jill Culton and Glen Keane.

The Monkey King” is penned by animated-animal feature experts Ron Friedman and Steve Bencich, whose past credits include “Brother Bear” and “Chicken Little.” The film is an effort to bring to the world, a character described
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stephen Chow developing 'The Monkey King' animation for Pearl Studio

Stephen Chow developing 'The Monkey King' animation for Pearl Studio
Abominable, Over The Moon also on Chinese company’s slate.

Stephen Chow is developing an epic animated adventure based on The Monkey King myth for China’s Pearl Studio, it emerged at Annecy International Animated Film Festival on Thursday (June 14).

Chow, whose credits include Chinese box office smashes The Mermaid and Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons as well as global hit Kung Fu Hustle, is collaborating with Ron Friedman and Steve Bencich, who were among the writing teams on Brother Bear and Chicken Little.

“Stephen Chow is the perfect creative partner to develop The Monkey King with Pearl Studio,
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Pearl Studios Unveils ‘Tiger Empress’ Movie, Promotes Justinian Huang

Pearl Studios is developing the animated movie “Tiger Empress” with playwright David Henry Hwang on board to pen the script.

“Tiger Empress” is the story of a young tigress who grows from the obedient daughter into a transformational leader when a prophecy convinces her that she’s the only one who can save their kingdom. Hwang’s play “M. Butterfly” won the Tony Award for best play in 1988.

The idea for “Tiger Empress” came from Pearl Studios creative executive Justinian Huang, who was named Thursday as head of development for Pearl Studios by Peilin Chou, chief creative officer.

Huang will be responsible for overseeing Pearl’s development team and overseeing the development slate, which includes over a dozen active projects. He was part of the team that developed Pearl’s upcoming “Abominable,” directed by Jill Culton, a co-production with DreamWorks Animation; and “Over the Moon,” directed by Glen Keane and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Pearl Studio Forges Its Own Animated Path

With a slate of projects already in play and a partnership with one of animation’s most acclaimed directors, Pearl Studio is striving to create family entertainment with a global reach.

The Shanghai-based company was originally started in 2012 during Jeffrey Katzenberg’s tenure at DreamWorks. At the time the animation studio was called Oriental DreamWorks, and they were successful early on with the release of “Kung Fu Panda 3,” one of the highest grossing films of its day and first official U.S.-China animated co-production. Recently, a consortium spearheaded by Li Ruigang’s Cmc Capital Partners took complete ownership of the animation studio. Currently, Pearl is headed by CEO Frank Zhu and chief creative officer Peilin Chou (pictured above).

And it was Chou’s idea to name the company Pearl, invoking the focus on persevering through struggles to create “a beautiful precious pearl.”

The company is in production on two films: “Abominable,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

DreamWorks-Pearl Studio Animated Movie ‘Everest’ Retitled ‘Abominable’ (Exclusive)

DreamWorks-Pearl Studio Animated Movie ‘Everest’ Retitled ‘Abominable’ (Exclusive)
Everest,” the co-production between Pearl Studio and DreamWorks Animation, has been retitled and will be released as “Abominable,” Variety has learned exclusively.

“Abominable” is currently in production and will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide beginning Sept. 27, 2019. In China, the film will be distributed by Pearl.

Jill Culton (“Open Season”) is serving as director with Todd Wilderman (“Trolls”) as co-director. Suzanne Buirgy (“Kung Fu Panda 2”) is the producer, while Tim Johnson (“Over the Hedge”) is executive producing.

Chloe Bennet stars in the lead role of Yi. Further details about the film will be revealed by Pearl Studio and DreamWorks during Pearl Studio’s studio focus session at the Annecy Film Festival next month, where director Culton will be speaking.

“Abominable” covers a 3,000-mile journey from the streets of Shanghai to the Himalayan snowscapes. When a mischievous group of friends encounter a young Yeti, they embark upon an epic quest
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Spain’s Animation Industry Flexes Its Muscle

Spain’s Animation Industry Flexes Its Muscle
Two months ago at Bordeaux’s Cartoon Movie, Europe’s biggest animated movie showcase, no country made a larger impact than Spain.

A sneak peek of footage from Raul de la Fuente’s “Another Day of Life,” capturing war correspondent Ryszard Kapuściński’s life-haunting experience in Angola’s civil war, dazzled Cartoon Movie with the verve of its animation/live-action mix. The $20 million “Dragonkeeper,” about a feisty washer-girl slave turned dragon protector, sparked enthusiasm for its story and Western-Chinese animation meld. Alberto Vázquez (“Birdboy: The Forgotten Children”) drew the showcase’s second-biggest audience for in-the-works “Unicorn Wars,” about an ancestral battle between Teddy bears and unicorns. And Madrid-based Latido Films won Distributor of the Year for “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles,” about Luis Buñuel’s shooting of 1933’s “Land Without Bread.”

Spanish animation’s strong showing at Cartoon Movie was no fluke. Animation accounted for the highest-grossing Spanish hit
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Guillermo del Toro signs multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation

Guillermo del Toro signs multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation
Mexican auteur takes office on Glendale campus.

Guillermo del Toro has struck a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce, and direct animated family films.

The pact, which comes hot on the heels of del Toro’s expansive deal with Fox Searchlight after they collaborated on the Oscar-winning The Shape Of Water, will see the Mexican auteur take office on the studio’s Glendale campus.

Del Toro’s most recent association with DreamWorks Animation was for the television division as creator and executive producer in the Netflix series Trollhunters.

That show is part of his Tales Of Arcadia trilogy.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Guillermo del Toro Signs Multi-Year Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation

  • The Wrap
Guillermo del Toro Signs Multi-Year Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation
Guillermo del Toro has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation, the studio announced Thursday.

Del Toro will write, produce and direct animated family films for the studio, and as part of the arrangement, he has taken up offices at the Glendale campus.

Del Toro’s most recent collaborations with DreamWorks Animation Television was when he created and executive produced the Emmy Award-winning series “Trollhunters.” The series, part of del Toro’s “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy, will continue with “3 Below” and “Wizards,” set to debut on Netflix in 2018 and 2019.

Also Read: Guillermo del Toro Signs Overall Production Deal at Fox Searchlight

He also served as an executive producer on “Rise of the Guardians,” “Puss in Boots” and “Kung Fu Panda 3,” as well as a creative consultant for “Kung Fu 2” and “Megamind.”

During his agreement, he will work with DreamWorks Animation Film Group president Chris deFaria and the studio’s other artists and technologists on the pilot programs and other storytelling methods on multiple content platforms.

“We are thrilled that Guillermo is adding a film partnership to the already successful television relationship he has with DreamWorks Animation,” said deFaria in a statement. “He is truly a one- of-a- kind artist, and we are eager to see his imagination on full display in the family animated feature space. Guillermo has a unique talent for creating memorable worlds and characters, and we believe the films we create with him will resonate with animation audiences for many generations to come. I am personally very excited to extend the long working relationship I have enjoyed with Guillermo and look forward to him also collaborating with us on some of our breakthrough advancements in technology and innovation.”

Also Read: Oscars: Guillermo del Toro Gets Fourth Mexican-Born Best Director Win in 5 Years

Del Toro added, “Animation is an art form that has influenced my work greatly since childhood. To me, it’s the perfect medium to bring to life any and all ideas, no matter how outlandish or wild. I am eager to work with Chris and the talented artists at DreamWorks – some of the most talented people in the business – to make these images a reality. I have worked with DreamWorks for about a decade and the horizon just keeps getting wider.”

Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” recently won four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director after receiving 13 nominations. His other credits include “Hellboy,” “Pacific Rim,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Book of Life” and “Blade II.”

Read original story Guillermo del Toro Signs Multi-Year Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Guillermo del Toro Signs With DreamWorks Animation for Family Films

Guillermo del Toro Signs With DreamWorks Animation for Family Films
Guillermo del Toro has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce and direct animated family films for the studio.

The Oscar-winning director of “The Shape of Water” is taking an offices at the DreamWorks campus in Glendale, Calif., as part of the deal.

The filmmaker, who won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for “The Shape of Water,” signed an overall deal earlier this month with Fox Searchlight to write, produce and direct live-action feature projects.

“Animation is an art form that has influenced my work greatly since childhood,” said del Toro in a statement. “To me, it’s the perfect medium to bring to life any and all ideas, no matter how outlandish or wild. I am eager to work with Chris and the talented artists at DreamWorks – some of the most talented people in the business – to make these images a reality. I have
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Animation is Role Model for Chinese Co-Production, Beijing Festival is Told

Animation is tipped by leading executives as the most fertile sector for cross-border cooperation between China and overseas film industries.

International co-production is a perennial discussion at every film festival in China or any market espousing a significant China connection. The Beijing International Film Festival, which kicked off on Sunday night, made co-production the theme of its showcase panel discussion on Monday, the event’s first full day of business. Speakers included Steven O’Dell, president of theatrical distribution at Sony Pictures Entertainment, James Wang Zhonglei CEO of Huayi Brothers, U.S. director Rob Minkoff and Beijing-based Renny Harlin (“Die Hard 2”).

O’Dell said that animation is one of just a handful of strategies that can lead to global success. “Animation is able to cross language barriers,” O’Dell said.

Sony has an existing local-language production strategy. O’Dell said that its decentralized executives involved in the program are
See full article at Variety - Film News »

What’s Leaving Netflix in April 2018

Heroes and criminals alike will depart Netflix in April. Some of the first titles on the streaming service’s chopping block for the month include four Batman films and Frank Darabont’s Oscar-nominated jailhouse drama “The Shawshank Redemption,” featuring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.

The streaming giant will also let go of TV series like “Dukes of Hazzard” and “Happy Tree Friends,” with more movie tentpoles like “Kung Fu Panda 3” rounding out the month’s departures.

View the full list of titles leaving Netflix below.

April 1

30 Days of Night

88 Minutes

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Darkest Minds Trailer Is Stranger Things Meets X-Men

20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for The Darkest Minds. The movie comes a bit out of left field, as this wasn't one of the big movies on everyone's radar this year. However, coming from Shawn Levy and Dan Levine, the producers behind Stranger Things, that's somewhat surprising. What's more surprising? This is basically a young adult version of an X-Men movie, only it's not actually an X-Men movie. It's got a bunch of dangerous kids with powers on the run from the government, they just aren't called mutants.

The trailer is action-packed and very effects-heavy. There are elements of Stranger Things at play here, with the group of young kids having to band together, in addition to the very obvious X-Men elements. There's also a bit of Marvel's The Runaways in here. What's perhaps most surprising of all is that Fox is actually the studio in control of the X-Men franchise,
See full article at MovieWeb »

'Black Panther' powers North America box office to February record

Month overtakes previous best set in 2012.

February at the North American box office has generated an unprecedented $1bn haul, according to ComScore.

Disney’s Black Panther fuelled the accomplishment, grossing $428.8m through February 28 after it launched on February 16 on a record $202m February .

Last month also saw a hefty contribution from Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed on $91.7m, while Peter Rabbit from Sony / Columbia accounted for $73.5m.

The second biggest February occurred in 2012, when the films combined for $818.1m and Screen Gems’ The Vow was the top film of the month on $104.9m, followed by Safe House on $100.2m.

After
See full article at ScreenDaily »

February box office hits $1bn record in North America

Month overtakes previous best set in 2012.

February at the North American box office has generated an unprecedented $1bn haul, according to ComScore.

Disney’s Black Panther fuelled the accomplishment, grossing $428.8m through February 28 after it launched on February 16 on a record $202m February .

Last month also saw a hefty contribution from Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed on $91.7m, while Peter Rabbit from Sony / Columbia accounted for $73.5m.

The second biggest February occurred in 2012, when the films combined for $818.1m and Screen Gems’ The Vow was the top film of the month on $104.9m, followed by Safe House on $100.2m.

After
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Chris Pratt's Cowboy Ninja Viking Movie Gets Director Michelle MacLaren

Universal Pictures is finally moving forward with its long-awaited comic book adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking, landing director Michelle MacLaren. While this will not be the filmmaker's feature film debut, it will be only her second film after the 2006 indie thriller Population 436, which starred Jeremy Sisto and Fred Durst. After spending the past decade on the small screen, with two Emmy wins to her credit, the filmmaker finally returns to the big screen with Cowboy Ninja Viking.

We first reported on this project back in November 2014, when Chris Pratt scored the lead role, just months after his blockbuster turn as Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. The actor confirmed his starring role in this comic book adaptation a few days later, but there has been little to no movement on the project since then. This new report reveals that Michelle MacLaren beat out two other candidates for this coveted gig,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Fox, Locksmith Animation Unveil 'Ron's Gone Wrong'

Fox, Locksmith Animation Unveil 'Ron's Gone Wrong'
The first fruits of 20th Century Fox's new long-term co-production and development deal with new U.K. CG animation studio Locksmith Animation, unveiled last month, have been revealed.

Ron's Gone Wrong, being directed by Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3) and Pixar Story vet J.P. Vine (Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur) and officially announced Thursday, is set for a November 2020 release and will be produced from Locksmith's major new London facilities, due to open in the coming weeks, with partner Double Negative providing digital production.

Set in a world where walking, talking, digitally connected bots have become children's best friends,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

China’s Oriental DreamWorks Looks Set to Restructure (Exclusive)

China’s Oriental DreamWorks Looks Set to Restructure (Exclusive)
Oriental DreamWorks, the production joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners, may be restructured, according to well-placed sources in China.

The sources say that Comcast is in talks with Oriental DreamWorks’ Chinese backers, including China Media Capital and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd., about possibly giving up Dwa’s 45% stake in the venture. If that happens, it would mark the end of one of the highest-profile linkups between Hollywood and China.

The potential restructuring comes as Oriental DreamWorks struggles to maintain a foothold in the competitive animated-feature marketplace. Its last outing, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” failed to perform as well as expected at the box office, and its only film currently slated for release, the Himalayan tale “Everest,” is not due out until September 2019. Last week, the company laid off some 40 animators at its Shanghai base.

At the same time, Glendale-based Dwa has been re-evaluating the projects in its own pipeline,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lack of New Releases Keeps ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ and ‘Zootopia’ at Top of Disc Sales Charts

Lack of New Releases Keeps ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ and ‘Zootopia’ at Top of Disc Sales Charts
With almost no high-profile new releases to impact the charts the week ended July 10, DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3,” distributed by 20th Century Fox, earned a second week atop the Npd VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

Holding onto the No. 2 spot on both charts for a second week was Walt Disney Studios’ “Zootopia,” which in its fifth week sold 78% as many copies as the “Panda” sequel in its second (and 71% as many Blu-ray copies).

Moving up a spot to No. 3 on both charts was Fox’s “Deadpool,” in its ninth week.

Universal Pictures’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” dropped to No. 4 on the overall chart, with Paramount’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” taking No. 5.

On the Blu-ray chart, “13 Hours” was No. 4, with Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” moving back up to No.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson to Helm ‘Darkest Minds’

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson to Helm ‘Darkest Minds’
Kung Fu Panda 3” director Jennifer Yuh Nelson is attached to make her live-action directorial debut with “Darkest Minds” in a potential franchise starter for Fox.

The movie is an adaptation of the YA trilogy by Alexandra Bracken in which a pandemic kills most of America’s children and teenagers. When some of the survivors develop superpowers, they are imprisoned.

Fox-based Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps company.

The first book of the trilogy centers on a 16-year-old with telekinetic powers who escapes from an interment camp and joins a group of teens on the run from the government.

Nelson made her directorial debut with 2011’s “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which received an Oscar nomination for best animated feature. She directed “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which was released in January.

Nelson is repped by Wme and Hansen Jacobson.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Helps DreamWorks Animation Earnings Beat Projections

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Helps DreamWorks Animation Earnings Beat Projections
Kung Fu Panda 3” and growth in its television business powered first quarter earnings at DreamWorks Animation, helping the film studio beat Wall Street projections.

Revenues climbed 14.4% to $190.4 million and the Glendale, Calif., studio reported a net profit of $13.8 million, as opposed to the $54.8 million loss it recorded a year ago. It also logged earnings of 16 cents a share. Analysts expected the company to announce earnings of a cent per share and revenue of $183 million for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

The robust fiscal picture emerges roughly a week after news broke that Comcast had reached a deal to acquire DreamWorks Animation for $4.1 billion in cash and debt assumption. The media conglomerate, which owns NBCUniversal, hopes to create a family film empire to rival Disney’s. It already backs Illumination Entertainment, the creator of the “Despicable Me” franchise.

“I am happy to report another strong quarter of financial results, which
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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