Film Roman Paints Pop Artist Britto into Development Deal

Phil Roman recently collaborated with renowned artist Gaudi to produce the animated Howdi Gaudi series of TV specials. Now Phil’s old company, Film Roman, is recruiting from the gallery scene as well. The animation house behind The Simpsons and King of the Hill has tapped well-known pop artist Romero Britto to develop animated properties.

Britto will develop either shorts, a TV series, a direct-to-DVD movie or a feature film faithfully based on his neo-pop cubist style that has graced galleries, installations and private collections throughout the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. The deal is Film Roman’s first since a majority ownership of the company was taken by IDT Media’s Digital Production Solutions, which yesterday announced it had bought a controlling stake in Canadian computer animation house Mainframe.

In addition to Fox’s primetime animated hits, Film Roman is currently in production on the Showtime animated series Free For All, SCI FI Channel’s Tripping the Rift and the syndicated Saturday morning kids show X-Men: Evolution.

Britto, based in Miami and São Paulo, Brazil, was sought out by Film Roman’s Sr VP in charge of development and programming Sidney Clifton, a fan of the artist’s work. Clifton remarks, “Romero Britto is an artist with a strong visual sense who constructs characters that will translate extremely well to animation. Because he speaks to kids and families through his art, he was a great match for us and we completely clicked on all levels. He is also a great collaborator who understands the development process, and we are looking forward to finding talented writers to complete the Britto development team.”

The relatively unknown young artist was suddenly cast into the limelight with commissions for Grand Marnier, Pepsi Cola, Disney, IBM, Apple Computers and a United Nations postage stamp series. He was also the official artist for the 1st Annual Latin Grammys. His original works can be found in the homes of Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Whitney Houston and Andre Agassi, among others.