It sure seems like Harvey Weinstein can’t get enough of CG-animated family movies. It was announced today that the Weinstein Company has acquired the rights to Escape from Planet Earth, a comedy feature pitch to be written by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards, the team behind the surprise box-office hit, Hoodwinked. Based on an original idea by Leech, the CG feature centers on a neurotic alien called Gary and a motley crew of intergalactic species held captive by U.S. government forces in Area 51.
The feature will be directed by Leech and produced by Preston Stutzman of Blue Yonder Films, along with Jonathan Shestack, Brian Inerfeclt and Gregory R. Little with Canadian animation studio Mainframe Entertainment (Reboot, the Barbie DVDs, Tony Hawk’s BoomBoom Sabotage and The Scary Godmother specials). Mainframe’s Rick Mischel will serve as an executive producer.
‘Escape From Planet Earth is an outstanding addition to the family films we have in the works,’ said Harvey Weinstein. ‘This magical pitch from the fantastic team of filmmakers we worked with on Hoodwinked is sure to capture and speak to a broad audience.’
“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 of development for Mainframe.
Hoodwinked was The Weinstein Company’s first CG-animated feature, and was written by Cory Edwards and Tony Leech, along with Todd Edwards, and was directed by Cory Edwards. The film has made over $47.5 million worldwide since its wide release on January 13. The team is currently working on a sequel, Hoodwinked 2; Hood Vs. Evil.
The Weinstein Co. follows Hoodwinked with a February 24 release of Doogal, an American reworking of Sprung! The Magic Roundabout feature that opened in Europe last year. The pic has been adapted for American audiences by director Butch Hartman, creator of Nickelodeon’s The Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom, and co-written by the Edwards brothers and Leech. Also on the Weinstein plate is Exodus Film Group’s 2007 CG comedy feature, Igor.
Written by Chris McKenna (FOX’s American Dad), Igor is the story of a mad scientist’s hunchbacked lab assistant who has big dreams of becoming a scientist in his own right by winning top prize at the annual Evil Science Fair. Igor is being produced by John D. Eraklis and exec produced by seasoned animation exec Max Howard, who has collaborated on such animated blockbusters as Diney’s The Lion King and Aladdin, and Warner Bros.’ Space Jam and The Iron Giant.