Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division has struck a major publishing agreement for Exodus Film Group's upcoming CG-animated feature film, IGOR. The Simon Scribbles and Simon Spotlight imprints will publish seven books in a wide variety of formats.
IGOR is a playfully irreverent comedy that brings a new twist to the classic monster genre and tells the story of an evil scientist's hunchbacked lab assistant with big dreams of becoming a scientist himself and winning the annual Evil Science Fair. The film's voice talent includes Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Coolidge, John Cleese, John Cusack, Arsenio Hall, Sean Hayes, Jay Leno, Jeremy Piven, Molly Shannon and Christian Slater.
"As we seek media brands that appeal to tweens, we're seeing a significant interest in movie tie-ins and IGOR -- which first and foremost is a great story with a wonderful quirky voice -- seemed to be exactly in step with what our growing market would love," said Valerie Garfield, vp, publisher of novelty and licensed publishing, Simon & Schuster. "The clever, humorous script appealed to us even before we learned of the spectacular talent attached to the film."
Simon Spotlight features titles for preschoolers to teens, with numerous film-related releases, including DORA THE EXPLORER, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, MONSTER HOUSE and the upcoming NANCY DREW film. Simon Scribbles debuted last year its premiere coloring and activity line, which includes an array of kid-friendly add-ons, including crayons, stickers, paintboxes, window-clings, iron-ons, magnets and more. Its licenses and brands include Curious George, VeggieTales, Franny K. Stein, SuDoku and Holly Hobbie. The deal was negotiated by Exodus' Auerbach; Weissmann, Wolff's Todd Stern and Simon & Schuster's Garfield.
Bruce Auerbach, Exodus president of consumer products, said, "This seven-book deal is quite unusual for an original movie property and speaks loudly" to Simon & Schuster's commitment.
Award-winning animation veteran Tony Leondis is directing the screenplay by Chris McKenna. Exodus ceo John D. Eraklis is producing along with seasoned animation exec and Exodus president Max Howard. The film will be distributed by The Weinstein Co. and is set for a wide release Oct. 24, 2008. TWC has an all-encompassing theatrical and DVD distribution deal, including North America, as well as representing international rights. Eric Robinson is overseeing on behalf of The Weinstein Co.
Simon & Schuster (www.SimonSays.com), a part of the CBS Corp., is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital and international companies in Australia, Canada and the U.K.
Los Angeles-based Exodus Film Group (www.ExodusFilmGroup.com) is an independent production company, which has made pioneering steps in the animation field by creating one of the first private equity animation film funds. In addition to IGOR, Exodus' CG-animation slate includes THE HERO OF COLOR CITY, to be distributed in North America by Magnolia Pictures, and BUNYAN & BABE.