The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH, a CG-animated comedy feature to be written by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards, the duo behind the box office animated hit HOODWINKED. Leech is set to direct the project and Preston Stutzman of Blue Yonder Films will produce it along with Jonathan Shestack (AIR FORCE ONE), Brian Inerfeld and Gregory R. Little with Mainframe Ent., which will animate the film in Vancouver. Jeremy Stein of Jon Shestack Productions will co-produce. Mainframes ceo Rick Mischel will exec produce.
This original idea by Leech is comedic look at a prison break where the lockup is actually Area 51, a mysterious government facility where the inmates are a rag-tag group of aliens from every corner of the universe. Gary, a neurotic alien hero must overcome his fears and self-doubt to lead a daring escape, not only from the jail and Earth itself which no alien has ever been able to leave.
Harvey Weinstein said, ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH is an outstanding addition to the family films we have in the works. This magical pitch from the fantastic team of filmmakers we worked with on HOODWINKED is sure to capture and speak to a broad audience.
"I love how passionate the Weinsteins are about making great films, and I couldn't ask for better partners than Jon Shestack and Mainframe to bring what I think is a fun, heartwarming adventure to the screen," said Leech.
Edwards added, This is a great story and we are really excited to make the movie with more resources than we had on HOODWINKED. The Weinstein Co. could see our vision for ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH, and really stepped up to the plate to make it happen.
"We love this movie and plan to have a lot of fun helping Tony and Cory bring it to life with Mainframe's animation talent," said Little, vp, development for Mainframe.
Michael Cole, co-president of production for The Weinstein Co., and Eric Robinson, director of production, are the overseeing execs for TWC with Mainframe animating the film in its Vancouver studio. Cole and Barry Littman, evp of business and legal affairs negotiated the deal on behalf of TWC. The project was packaged by Gregory Little and Brian Inerfeld. Inerfeld and attorney Adam Kaller of Behr, Abramson & Kaller negotiated on behalf of the creative, producing, and animation teams.
HOODWINKED, which remains in the top 10 U.S. box office, was The Weinstein Co.s first CG-animated feature, and was written by Cory Edwards and Leech, along with Todd Edwards, and was directed by Cory Edwards. Stutzman produced. The team is working on a sequel, HOODWINKED 2; HOOD VS. EVIL, which will also be produced by Stutzman.
The Weinstein Co. (www. weinsteinco.com) was created by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films Corp. in 1979. TWC is a multi-media company that officially launched on Oct. 1, 2005. Dimension Films, the genre label that was founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, is also included under the TWC banner.
Vancouver-based Mainframe Ent. Inc. (www.mainframe.ca) is one of the world's most prolific producers of computer-generated animation for television and direct-to-video/DVD family entertainment. Mainframe has produced more than 269 half hours of CG-animated television, as well as 17 feature-length direct-to-video/DVDs and television specials, as well as a variety of work in theatrical feature films, interactive games and commercials. Mainframe's CG animation expertise is also being used in the production of theatrical feature films, interactive games and commercials. Established in 1993, Mainframe continues to grow its library of proprietary productions, and has received many prestigious awards for its work on such international brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Spider-Man, Casper and Popeye, Mainframe clients include Sony, Mattel, Lions Gate Home Ent, Electronic Arts (Canada) and MTV. Mainframe has been successful with its original, proprietary programming, including the groundbreaking television series, REBOOT, the SCARY GODMOTHER television specials and the upcoming feature film, TONY HAWKS BOOMBOOM SABOTAGE. Mainframe's majority shareholder, IDT Corp., is a NYSE-listed multinational telecommunications and entertainment company.