Universal Pictures Marketing Creative Operations has brought in Scott Abraham and Jeff Hutchinson as vps while upping Jonathan Q. Kern and Stan Scoggins to vp positions as well.
Tagged With: Universal
The on-again, off-again CURIOUS GEORGE feature is currently in production for Universal Pictures and Imagine Ent., having settled on a 2D look after abandoning CG plans with Industrial Light & Magic because of the great expense and "creepy" look, VARIETY reports.
Upon the success of the networks mini-series, SCI FI Channel has given the go ahead for the production of a new BATTLESTAR GALATICA TV series. Based on the top-rated December miniseries, which was based on the 1970s TV series, the one-hour drama is scheduled to begin production on 13 episodes in Vancouver next month.
While NBC awaits final approval of its bid to buy Universal, the studio has promoted Mary Parent and Scott Stuber from production president to vice chairman, worldwide production, for Universal Pictures. In their newly-created positions Parent and Stuber will continue to oversee the worldwide acquisition, creative development and production of all Universal Pictures feature films, and will also oversee Universal's original made-for-video productions as well as the creative development and production of its original animation properties.
Universal Home Entertainment Productions (UHEP) has announced that an animated preschool series based on H. A. and Margret Reys children's classic, CURIOUS GEORGE is in development with Imagine Entertainment and PBS-affiliate WGBH Boston. The series is scheduled to debut in early 2006 after the theatrical release of an animated CURIOUS GEORGE feature on November 4, 2005. The show will incorporate early childhood science and math educational content.
The long in-development film adaptation of Maurice Sendaks childrens book classic WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE has been assigned by Universal to director Spike Jonze (ADAPTATION), reported VARIETY. Tom Hanks Playtone production house has long been developing the film as a CGI project, but Universal agreed to go live-action upon hearing Jonzes vision. Originally animation vet Eric Goldberg (ALADDIN) was attached to direct, but he left to go work on LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION after WILD THINGS seemed to be stalling.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, NBC and Vivendi Universal made official the merger of their entertainment businesses. Newly named NBC Universal joins the ranks of Time Warner, Disney and Viacom. The new mega-conglom will control a broadcast network (NBC), various cable entities (USA, CNBC, Bravo, MSNBC, Telemundo, SCI-FI and Trio), a film and television studio (Universal Pictures and Television) and theme parks (Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando).
Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment have announced that TIGGER MOVIE director Jun Falkenstein along with actor Will Ferrell (OLD SCHOOL, the upcoming ELF) have signed on to their animated feature CURIOUS GEORGE. Ferrell will lend his voice to the troublesome monkeys owner, The Man in the Yellow Hat. The 2D feature is being produced by Academy Award-winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The film is scheduled for release on November 4, 2005.
Universal and NBC have struck a deal to create a dramatic TV pilot based on the 2004 summer thriller VAN HELSING. Entitled TRANSYLVANIA, the show will not be a spinoff or sequel, but will take place in the same universe as the feature. This deal is the first between NBC and Universal since negotiations by GE to purchase Universal from Vivendi began. The films director Stephen Sommers (THE MUMMY) first came up with the idea for the TV series over a year ago when he was hired to direct the feature.
Universal Studios licensing exec Tim Rothwell is headed over to Marvel Enterprises to be president of its worldwide consumer products group. Rothwell will be overseeing Marvels core licensing and merchandising division, the companys principal source of profit and cash flow. His immediate directives from Marvel ceo Allen Lipson are to develop Marvels international licensing business and strengthen retailer relationships, which Marvel sees as underdeveloped areas with huge growth potential for the company.
Pamela Blum has segued from Universal Pictures to Universal Studios Home Video as svp of marketing services, responsible for overseeing the development of all DVD value added content, and will supervise all Internet and research activities. Her role also includes maximizing opportunities between USHV and all studio cross-divisional departments including theatrical, consumer products, music, television and recreation, according to Ken Graffeo, evp of marketing for Universal Studios Home Video.
Web short turned TV series TRIPPING THE RIFT has announced the Hollywood talent who have signed on to lend their voice to SCI FI Channel's first original animated TV series. Gina Gershon (BOUND), Stephen Root (NEWS RADIO) and "Stuttering" John Melendez (THE HOWARD STERN SHOW) head the ensemble cast. The half-hour 3D show is being produced by CinéGroupe, in association with Film Roman. The show is set to debut in January 2004.
Richard Marks joins Universal Network Television as vp of business affairs, it was announced by Neil Strum, exec vp of Universal Television Productions. Marks will be responsible for business affairs for the Universal series THE AGENCY and THE DISTRICT, as well as pilots ABOUT A BOY, SLICE O' LIFE and KAREN SISCO.
Dan Weiss has been named evp of worldwide marketing for Universal's domestic and international television divisions. In his newly created post, Weiss will oversee all marketing functions for both the domestic and international TV markets, including worldwide pay-per-view and video-on-demand with campaigns for universal's sales of network and first-run series, off-network programming and motion pictures. Departments under worldwide marketing reporting to Weiss include affiliate relations and advertising, communications, promotions-partnerships and creative services.
Now kids can blast off on a neutronic trip as they board their own rocket and follow Jimmy, his best friend Carl and faithful robotic dog, Goddard, via the new Neutron's Nicktoon Blast Ride at Universal Studios in Orlando. The simulator ride takes riders with the Jimmy Neutron characters on a wild chase through favorite Nicktoons, including SpongeBob SquarePants, the Fairly OddParents, Hey Arnold and Rugrats. The ride replaces the Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera attraction.
Barry Diller has resigned as co-chairman/CEO of Vivendi Universal Entertainment to end investors' concerns about him also being head of USA Interactive. USA Interactive just unveiled plans to buy control of online service Expedia.com in a deal valued at $3.3 billion. Most of Diller's investments rest with USA Interactive where he is CEO/chairman. "My executive role was never intended to be permanent," Diller said in a statement.
Universal Pictures has promoted Andrew Fenady to vice president, production. Fenady has been with Universal since 2000, when he came on board as director of production. In his new position he will continue to work with filmmakers on all aspects of physical production, including budgeting, scheduling, hiring crews and managing the daily workings within the production. Fenady is currently overseeing physical production on the films DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 2 and HONEY.
First Universal teamed with Marvel to bring THE HULK to life for moviegoers in summer 2003. Now Marvel Studios has entered into an agreement with Universal Pictures to bring two more super heroes to the big screen: Sub-Mariner and Prime. First up is SUB-MARINER, currently in development. The film will follow the adventures of the troubled Prince Namor, a half-man/half-amphibian creature from Atlantis. David Self, best known for his adaptation of the graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION for DreamWorks, will write the screenplay.
Under the terms of a recently announced worldwide licensing, Vivendi Universal Publishing's Knowledge Adventure studio will develop and publish BUTT-UGLY MARTIANS interactive entertainment products for the PC/Mac, console, handheld, PDA, wireless and Internet platforms beginning in fall 2002. The products will be distributed worldwide by Vivendi Universal Games.
As part of Vivendi Universal Publishing's long-term deal with Tolkien Enterprises, Universal Interactive will publish games based on J.R.R. Tolkien's best-selling saga THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The company acquired the exclusive rights to develop interactive entertainment based on selected Tolkien literary works. Universal Interactive will create games for multiple next-generation and PC platforms with content derived from Tolkien's novels THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS and THE RETURN OF THE KING.
Universal Studios is using the 20th anniversary re-release of Steven Spielbergs classic film E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL to launch a 13-month long branding initiative that includes a new Universal logo featuring E.T. According to the studio, the image of E.T. will be an integral part of Universal's identity and business activities, and will be featured in all film, television, home entertainment, theme parks, music, consumer products, publishing and online products. This corporate identity program will complement the March 2002 worldwide release of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL.
Universal Studios, Just Group, Mike Young Productions and DCDC have entered into a broad arrangement for BUTT-UGLY MARTIANS, the new CGI-animated action-adventure-comedy TV series, which debuted on the U.K. channel CITV in February 2001. The series, backed by a list of licensees including Hasbro and Scholastic, will premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. in early 2002 and has begun debuting on other children's outlets around the world.
Universal Studios Hollywood has launched a live, interactive musical and comedy adventure, based on the new DreamWorks computer-animated feature SHREK. Shrek Live is scheduled for weekend performances through June 16, 2001, followed by daily performances through Labor Day weekend. Set on a renaissance faire-themed stage, the 20-minute live performance, which includes elaborately costumed SHREK characters, invites guests to participate as one of many popular fairy tale characters, including the THREE LITTLE PIGS and SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES.
Havas Interactive, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal Publishing, has changed its name to Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing (VU Interactive Publishing). The company is comprised of two operating divisions, Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing North America (VU Interactive Publishing NA) and Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing International, each of which is charged with directing the sales, distribution and operating activities in its respective region.
On Wednesday, March 28, Nickelodeon and Universal Studios Recreation Groupannounced the signing of a strategic alliance for the development of newNickelodeon-branded attractions at various Universal theme parks. Under thenew agreement, the two companies will develop two major attractions, createco-branded promotions, sell merchandise and increase marketing andadvertising on the Nickelodeon cable channel. As part of the agreement,Universal will get rights to use Nickelodeon characters such as THE RUGRATS,