ESC to Become VFX Fixture at Warner Bros.

Northern California-based VFX house ESC Entertainment was originally funded by Warner Bros. to handle the bulk of the work on the MATRIX trilogy, which cost more than $100 million. But now the studio has decided to expand ESC's role by having it take a lead or secondary role in all of its event films, VARIETY reports.

First up is CATWOMAN, which Halle Berry is starring in for release next summer. And then possibly CONSTANTINE, the sci-fi thriller with Keanu Reeves as a world-travelling misfit who solves supernatural crimes, and SUPERMAN.

According to Warner Bros., ESC will serve the VFX needs of the studio, though not always alone, yet will certainly play a more active role in the creation and budgeting of effects from the outset of a given production. ESC's staff will vary from project to project, and the management structure is still being determined. ESC will also be open to tackling other projects, depending on its schedule. It should be noted, however, that the studio's last in-house effects house, Warner Digital Studios, lasted only a year and shut down in 1997 due to expensive overhead.