Nate Hopper has been promoted to senior VP of creative affairs for Sony Pictures Animation. Hooper has served as VP of creative affairs since joining the studio’s toon division in August of 2002. Effective immediately, the promotion puts Hopper in charge of the day-to-day process of developing both internal and external projects to feed the Sony Pictures Animation pipeline.
Formerly VP of production for Twentieth Century Fox, Hooper supervised production and development on the Martin Lawrence comedies Big Mommas House and Black Knight. He was also responsible for the development of X2: X-Men United, Alien Vs. Predator and Stuck on You.
Hopper began his career as an agent trainee at United Talent Agency before becoming a creative assistant to TriStar Pictures president Marc Platt. From 1994 to 1996, he worked as a creative exec and then director of development for TriStar before moving on to run the day-to-day operations and development for Apatow Prods.
According to Sony Pictures Animation exec VPs Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, Hooper has been instrumental in building the companys slate of films, including first offerings Open Season, coming Sept. 29, 2006, and Surfs Up, slated for release in the summer of 2007. "He has a wonderful sense of story and humor and a superb sensitivity for writers and material," say Finkelman Cox and Rabins.
Directed by Roger Allers and Jill Culton, Open Season features the voices of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing and Gary Sinise in a story about forest animals who turn the tables on hunters. Ash Brannon and Chris Buck take the helm of Surfs Up, a penguin surfing movie voiced by Jeff Bridges, Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel and James Woods.