Looking to ramp up its animated feature film offerings, Warner Bros. has developed a plan to go up against Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures.
According to a report by Deadline, Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov announced that the studio has formed “a feature animation creative consortium, marking a new and innovative approach to the establishment of a diverse and far-reaching animation slate.”
With a plan is to release one animated movie per year, the studio has brought on a talented group of filmmakers to form the core group of the division. John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Nicholas Stoller, Phil Lord and Chris Miller and Jared Stern are the first directors in the program. They aren’t exclusive to the studio, and will develop animated projects along with the live action films they direct.
First up will be the 3D animated feature, The LEGO Movie, which will be released by Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Films by February 7, 2014. Warner Bros. executives Jeff Robinov, Greg Silverman, Courtenay Valenti and Chris deFaria will oversee the effort.
“Warner Bros. has an extraordinary legacy in the world of animation, including some of the most enduring characters in cinema history. Looking to the future, we have now gathered some of the best and brightest talents in the industry to help us grow and broaden that legacy. Drawing upon their imaginations and inspiration, the Studio will produce a slate of new and original animated films that are sure to delight audiences of all ages,” said Robinov in a statement.
Other projects include Storks, conceived and being written by Stoller and to be directed by Doug Sweetland (Pixar short Presto); and Smallfoot, to be written by Requa and Ficarra, from an original idea by Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me), who is also set to direct. The films are being targeted for release in 2015 and 2016, respectively.