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Rodney Rothman and Adam Rosenberg Launch Modern Magic

The Oscar-winning ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ writer/director and former MGM co-president’s new company will focus on event animation and live-action; 20 projects underway including feature films and series in various stages of development.

Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse writer/director Rodney Rothman and former MGM co-president of production Adam Rosenberg have announced the launch of Modern Magic.

The company will focus on event animation and live action, developing new ways to engage and entertain a global audience that moves between mediums, genres, and platforms.

Modern Magic currently has 20 feature film and series projects in various stages of development, based on original concepts as well as high profile intellectual property.

Key projects include:

  • An original animated feature inspired by the music of the late rapper Juice WRLD (the most streamed artist on Spotify in the United States in 2020 and #4 globally) being written by Jaboukie Young-White (The Daily Show, Dating & New York). Modern Magic will produce in conjunction with executive producers John Janick, Steve Berman, and Tony Seyler on behalf of Interscope Films, with Carmela Wallace, Peter Jideonwo and Lil Bibby representing Juice WRLD’s estate.
  • Nuevo Rico, an animated feature based on the SXSW award-winning short film by Kris Mercado. Set in a psychedelic future version of Puerto Rico, a brother and sister stumble upon a secret that propels them to Reggaetón stardom, but they soon discover that their newfound fame comes at a deep price.
  • An offbeat, subversive live action-comedy feature that Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary, A Black Lady Sketch Show) is currently writing for Sony Pictures.

“Helping lead the team that made Into the Spider-Verse was a life-altering experience that forever changed what I thought was possible,” commented Rothman. “We’ve started Modern Magic to keep going and see what else a motivated, ragtag group of artists can accomplish when they take the leap. Commercially, we see a worldwide animation audience that understands it is a medium for smart, great, limitless, multi-genre storytelling, and, as Spider-Verse proved, doesn’t need to be confined to the kid & family audience or a 30-minute sitcom. There’s a massive audience looking to see every boundary pushed; for that audience, anything is possible. It doesn’t have to look real as long as it feels real. And we know from experience how excited the creative community is about the opportunity to explore new mediums to express the emotion, artistry and humanity critical to 21st-century storytelling.”

“When it comes to animation, we don’t see ourselves as fortune tellers,” added Rosenberg. “We see ourselves as recognizing where we already are. Animation is a major source of creative and commercial growth, it easily travels around the world, and it is a driving force behind artistic breakthroughs in every medium. Our projects are designed to sit at the intersection of entertainment, culture, and technology, and what we do in animation feeds into our distinct take on live action.”

As co-president of production for MGM’s Worldwide Motion Picture Group, Rosenberg oversaw feature film development and production, including Creed 1 & 2; Candyman; the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect; Bad Trip; The Magnificent Seven; and Dwayne Johnson’s Fighting With My Family and Hercules. He is an executive producer on the just completed film, Samaritan and on the upcoming Creed 3.

Rothman most recently co-wrote and co-directed the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. He previously served as a producer and writer on the films 22 Jump Street; The Five-Year Engagement; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Popstar; and Get Him to the Greek. His television credits include head writer on the Emmy Award-winning The Late Show with David Letterman. Rothman is the author of the best-selling nonfiction humor book “Early Bird.” His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker; GQ; The New York Times; The New York Times Magazine; and McSweeney's Quarterly. His piece "My Fake Job" was included in The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Source: Modern Magic