Sony Animation, Gotham Ink Pic Deal

Los Angeles-based talent management and production firm The Gotham Group has signed a first-look production deal with Sony Pictures Animation. Led by founder and CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Gotham represents some of the industry’s top directors, writers, authors, actors, illustrators, publishing houses and comic-book companies. Its access to movie source material such as popular books and comics is attractive to Sony Animation, whose next CG-animated release is an adaptation of the children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs from author Judi Barrett and illustrator Ron Barrett. Gotham’s clients include Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, HarperCollins Children’s Books (U.S. & U.K.), Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt, Dark Horse Ent., SAF Comics, Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA/Walker & Co., and Simon Spotlight Ent.

‘Ellen Goldsmith-Vein has impeccable taste in material and phenomenal talent relationships,’ says Bob Osher, president of Sony Pictures Digital Productions. ‘With her client base and Gotham’s association with the top publishers, we are excited to team with Ellen and her team to find original stories, characters and talent.’

‘We are really excited to be in business with Sony,’ adds Goldsmith-Vein. ‘This deal is a testament to their commitment to making big, tentpole movies that the whole family can enjoy together.’

‘Since I joined Sony Pictures Animation, Ellen has been a true ally in discovering new talent and original material,’ coments Hannah Minghella, president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. ‘We see this relationship as a vital part of our continuing design to make Sony Pictures Animation a home for creative talent and formalizing what has already been a significant creative relationship.’

The Gotham Group’s first major producing effort, The Spiderwick Chronicles, was released in February of this year and grossed more than $200 million worldwide. The company recently produced the direct-to-video animated feature Dead Space for Starz Media, and the CG, large format film Quantum Quest. The first movie ever initiated by NASA/JPL, Quantum Quest boasts an all-star voice cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, Sandra Oh, Amanda Peet, Jason Alexander, Abigail Breslin and Chris Pine. In addition, Gotham recently joined with the Chungnam Techno Park in the Chungam province of South Korea and several South Korean corporations in an unprecedented public-private partnership to form an animation fund totaling more than $300 million for the purpose of financing, producing and distributing six to eight animated and live action/animated hybrid feature films.