Press Release from Nelvana
LOS ANGELES, (November 3, 2009,) – Walden Media is acquiring the film rights to the bestselling book series The Berenstain Bears. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps, Corus Entertainment Inc.’s Nelvana and Walden Media will produce the family comedy which will be a live action film mixed with computer generated characters.
Levy’s 21 Laps has produced Night at the Museum, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. Nelvana, known for its work in children’s animation (Babar, The Backyardigans, Max & Ruby), produced the animated The Berenstain Bears television series, airing on PBS.
Says producer Levy: "The Berenstain Bears is such a beloved book and television series, with a great blend of charm, wit and warmth. 21 Laps is thrilled to be collaborating with Walden and Nelvana in adapting and expanding it to the screen."
This feature film will be a fitting tribute to the Berenstain family who decades ago created what has become a truly classic property, etched in the hearts and minds of children and their families the world over,” comments Doug Murphy, President, Nelvana and General Manager, Corus Kids “We are excited to be involved in this collaborative project which will see the delightful and entertaining tales of the Bears finally hit the big screen.”
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, The Berenstain Bears are the bestselling character-based children’s books in history with over 260 million in sales. Since their creation in 1962 there have been 250 titles and the family has been featured in three television series since 1979.
“My mother, Jan, and I are more than delighted that three outstanding names in the field of family entertainment, Shawn Levy, Walden Media and Nelvana, have come together to create a Berenstain Bears feature film,” says Mike Berenstain. “We are thrilled that their plans for an innovative and ambitious production will bring our family’s work to a new medium and to new audiences. I know that my father, Stan, who passed away in 2005, would have been tickled pink that his very own bears were going to be ’in the movies!’”
“The Berenstain Bears series has the heart, humor, and values that fit into the Walden library of family films. We look forward to bringing these treasured characters to life in a new way with 21 Laps and Nelvana,” says Walden Media CEO Michael Bostick.
Billy Rosenberg will oversee the project for 21 Laps and Walden’s Evan Turner, VP of Production & Development will oversee the project with Michael Bostick, CEO. Doug Murphy and Irene Weibel, Vice President of International Development and Coproduction, will manage the project on behalf of Nelvana. Deal was secured for Walden by Frank Smith, SVP Business & Legal.
Levy is repped by Adam Venit at WME.
About Walden Media
Walden Media specializes in entertainment for the whole family. Past award-winning films include: “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Nim’s Island” and “Charlotte’s Web.” Upcoming films include “Tooth Fairy” starring Dwayne Johnson and “Ramona & Beezus” starring Selena Gomez.
Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, CosmoTV, VIVA, Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com .