DreamWorks Animation today announced that it has picked up Master Mind, a superhero send-up from Ben Stiller’s and Stuart Cornfeld’s Red Hour Films. The screenplay is being written by Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, and will be adapted by directors Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson. The DreamWorks veterans will each make their feature directorial debut after helming the 2006 toon short First Flight, which was screened with Over the Hedge in many theaters.
Master Mind was brought to DreamWorks Animation by Red Hour ‘s Lara Breay, who will oversee development with DreamWorks Animation’s Chris Kuser. The project marks the first time Stiller will collaborate with the studio in a production capacity. The leading comedic actor previously lent his voice to Alex the lion in the studio’s hit Madagascar, and is reprising the role in the upcoming sequel, Madagascar: The Crate Escape.
According to DreamWorks, Master Mind will be a satirical comedy that tells the story of a super villain who loses his joie de vivre after accidentally killing his archrival, Uberman, in the opening scene of the movie.
‘Stuart and Lara and I are really excited to be working with DreamWorks Animation on this project,’ Stiller comments. ‘We all think the script is really smart and really funny. They have put the film on the fast track, which in animation terms means it will be coming out in the next 15 to 20 years.’
‘We are looking forward to collaborating again with Ben, this time on the production side of things,’ adds DreamWorks Animation C.E.O. Jeffrey Katzenberg. ‘His creativity and signature sense of humor will lend itself perfectly to this project. As for Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson, they are two valued members of our DreamWorks Animation family. Their short, First Flight, was such a beautiful, original piece, and we believe the promise it showed will be on full display in Master Mind.’
Before taking the reins on First Flight, Hood and Jefferson, both graduates of Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, worked on DreamWorks’ first animated release, The Prince of Egypt, and also contributed to The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Shark Tale. Jefferson’s work outside of DreamWorks includes collaborating with director Michael Bay on action scene pre-visualizations for Pearl Harbor, while Hood spent some time at Sony Imageworks as an animator on Stuart Little 2. Hood also taught at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, where he currently hosts a best-selling character animation lecture series.
Red Hour Films launched in 2001 with the Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson comedy Zoolander, and has since produced Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Starsky and Hutch, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny and current box-office champ Blades of Glory.