Exodus Prods. announced that it has chosen Paris-based Sparx Animation Studios to handle animation for its first CG-animated feature film, Igor. Sparx began production in November of 2006 and will work to complete the film for a fall 2008 release. The Weinstein Co. plans to distribute the movie theatrically on October 24.
‘Over the course of production for the past several months, Sparx has delivered high-quality and cost-effective visual development and animation,’ says Exodus president Max Howard. ‘It’s a key component of our plans to identify and nurture relationships with studios such as Sparx, who have assembled a wonderful and talented animation team.’ Jean-Luc De Fanti announced today that
Sparx has recently gone through a change of ownership and Igor will be the first feature project completed under new management. The company also recently relocated to a new, larger facility in downtown Paris and has invested more than ‘3 million ($4.48 million) in new equipment, according to Sparx general manager Jean-Philippe Agati. In addition to the Paris location, the company has a state-of the-art production facility Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and employs more than 250 artists altogether.
‘Being given the opportunity to work on such an ambitious project is a unique chance to show that French animation can speak to audiences all over the world,’ Agati says.
Animation veteran Tony Leondis (The Prince of Egypt, Lilo & Stitch 2) is directing Igor from a screenplay by Chris McKenna (American Dad). The movie tells the story of an evil scientist’s hunchbacked lab assistant with big dreams of becoming a brilliant scientist in his own right and winning the annual Evil Science Fair. Exodus has assembled an all-star voice cast that includes Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, Jeremy Piven, John Cleese, John Cusack Jennifer Coolidge, Arsenio Hall, Sean Hayes, Jay Leno and Molly Shannon.
Igor is being produced by Exodus CEO John D. Eraklis, along with seasoned animation exec and Exodus president Max Howard, who has collaborated on such big-screen hits as Disney’s The Lion King and Aladdin, and Warner Bros.’ Space Jam and The Iron Giant. Eric Robinson is overseeing on behalf of The Weinstein Co., which has an all-encompassing theatrical and DVD distribution deal for North America and will also represent international rights.