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New Line Rockets to Planet 51 Toon

New Line Cinema has acquired Ilion Animation Studios and Handmade Films Int'l's PLANET 51, launching a new push into animated feature distribution for the 40-year-old studio, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

In a twist on the alien invasion flick, the inhabitants of Planet 51 are paranoid that aliens will invade. When astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker arrives mayhem ensues and the Earthling must befriend a young Planet 51-ian to get back home.

Joe Stillman (SHREK) wrote the script, which Jorge Blanco directed with co-directors Javier Abad and Marcos Martinez. Ignacio Perez Dolset is the producer. New Line's Guy Stodel and Sejin Park are shepherding.

Opened in 2002, Spain-based Illion has developed in-house technology to produce the $60 million production, which set to be finished in March 2009. With a star-studded voice cast in the works, the project has been pre-sold to more than 30 territories.

Additionally, Pyro Studios is developing a videogame, while LaNetro Zed is developing a mobile phone initiative for the property.

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