CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Sony Pictures Animation has set screenwriters Jay Scherick & David Ronn to write the screenplay for an all-new POPEYE animated feature, based on the iconic characters of comic strip and cartoon fame. POPEYE is the second project for Scherick and Ronn with Sony Pictures Animation following their success with this summer's blockbuster THE SMURFS, which has grossed more than $550 million worldwide since its July 29 opening. Sony Pictures Animation and Arad Productions are producing the stereoscopic 3D animated feature.
"Scherick & Ronn have a remarkable talent in re-energizing beloved characters," says Bob Osher, president of Sony Pictures Digital Productions. "As they demonstrated with THE SMURFS, they embrace the iconic characteristics of these timeless characters and craft a story that really engages moviegoers today."
"We're thrilled that Jay and Dave are helping us reintroduce Popeye to a new generation," comments Michelle Raimo Kouyate, president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. "Their take on the world of Popeye has just the right blend of comedy, adventure and heart -- all the elements that made a great animated film."
"Popeye has been my childhood favorite character," says producer Avi Arad. "To me he was always the everyday man who gets special powers and actually becomes the first superhero in the best meaning of the word. When Scott Sassa called, Ari and I were beyond excited to be working with Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Sony Pictures Animation to bring this iconic character to the big screen in glorious stereoscopic 3D. We enjoy working with the Sony Pictures Animation team and with Rocky and company from Hearst Publishing. I cannot wait to go sailing!"
Last Spring, Scherick and Ronn began work on the sequel to THE SMURFS. They also wrote the original script for the upcoming BAYWATCH adaptation for Paramount and the pair is currently working on a comedy pilot for ABC. Scherick and Ronn have been writing together since they met when they both worked for a New York based corporate bartering company. From a staff writing position at NBC, the team segued into three years on "Spin City" where they served as writer/producers.
Scherick and Ronn are represented by International Creative Management.
(Los Angeles -- Pantelion Films announced today that it has acquired the U.S. rights to the highly-anticipated NALA Films and Gary Sanchez Productions produced comedy CASA DE MI PADRE, directed by Matt Piedmont and starring Will Ferrell. Pantelion Films plans to release CASA DE MI PADRE, which was fully-financed by NALA Films, stateside on March 16, 2012. The Spanish-language film, which pays homage to classic westerns and telenovelas, will be Pantelion Film's widest release to date. The domestic deal was announced today by Paul Presburger, CEO of Pantelion Films.
Along with Ferrell, the film also features Gael Garcia Bernal (THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES), Diego Luna (Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN), Genesis Rodriguez (MAN ON A LEDGE), Efren Ramirez (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE ), Adrian Martinez (KICK-ASS), Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (THE MASK OF ZORRO ) and Nick Offerman (PARKS & RECREATION).
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father's ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch encounters financial difficulties, Armando's younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) shows up with his new fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). It seems that Raul's success as an international businessman means the ranch's troubles are over as he pledges to settle all debts his father has incurred. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul's business dealings turn out to be less than legit, all hell breaks loose as they find themselves in a war with Mexico's most feared drug lord, the mighty Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).
CASA DE MI PADRE's title track is an original song written by Andrew Steele and Patrick Perez, and performed by four-time GRAMMY® Award winner Christina Aguilera.
"Will, Andrew and I are excited to have Pantelion distribute the movie -- especially since our collective knowledge of the Spanish language amounts to what we learned during a half-hour Learning Annex class taken the night before production of the film began," said director Matt Piedmont. "We loved collaborating with NALA to make this movie and now can't wait to have it released. Pantelion and NALA are the perfect team to get it out there."
"We cannot imagine a better vehicle than CASA DE MI PADRE to demonstrate how a Spanish language film can appeal to a broad main stream audience," said Pantelion Films CEO, Paul Presburger. "We are enthusiastic about joining forces with NALA Films on this project and feel that Will, Matt and Andrew have proven that if it's funny, we all laugh in the same language."
"We are thrilled about partnering with Pantelion to bring CASA DE MI PADRE to all audiences," said NALA Films President and COO Darlene Caamano Loquet. "Comedy has no barriers, and that can be seen in the terrific performances and work delivered by this international cast and creative team."
New York -- The Weinstein Company (TWC) President of Distribution, Erik Lomis, announced today that SARAH'S KEY will be re-released on November 4th on 300 screens across the US. SARAH'S KEY opened in late July and has grossed over $7 million.
"Audiences responded to SARAH'S KEY for its great story, its emotional impact, and its historical importance; and the power of that word-of-mouth made it one of the most successful indie releases of the Summer. We know there's an even bigger audience for the movie, and that's why we're re-releasing it now, in a wider pattern, and just in time for awards consideration," said Lomis.
Based on Tatiana de Rosnay's best-selling novel, SARAH'S KEY is the story of an American journalist living in Paris, Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose research for an article about the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942 in France ends up turning her own world upside down. "Sarah's Key" has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for 138 weeks and the success of the movie over the summer saw it rise to #2. It has been published in 40 countries, and there are now more than 3 million copies in print in the US.
During its release over the summer, SARAH'S KEY attracted many advocates, including Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, who said of the movie: "SARAH'S KEY is much more than a Holocaust film. It is an emotional tour-de-force, a compelling Holocaust drama writ large that examines the interconnected lives of a series of unforgettable characters through time... Along the way we witness the worst and the best of humanity. We see in the most graphic terms the horrible and tragic choices that Jews had to make facing the Nazi onslaught. There were no good choices and whatever one decided, the price to pay was momentous and long-lasting. SARAH'S KEY is a must see for that alone."
Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner comments on the success of SARAH'S KEY in the US: "I wanted to direct a movie that made this relatively unknown period of French history accessible. I'm so happy that audiences in the US have responded to the emotional core of SARAH'S KEY and to the idea of our individual sense of responsibility towards history, regardless of our own cultural heritage. I'm also delighted with the critical support Kristin Scott Thomas has received for her restrained performance which helped steer the film clear of the trap of sentimentality. She becomes the audience's conscience."
"It's always tricky for a writer to accept a director's vision of her book, but Gilles Paquet-Brenner captured the emotion I wanted to share with my readers when I wrote the book, and I think it is wonderful that movie-goers are expanding the understanding of this dark moment in our history in such a vital way," notes author Tatiana de Rosnay.
SARAH'S KEY is directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and based on the novel "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay. Written by Serge Joncour and Gilles Paquet-Brenner, the film stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy, Dominique Frot, Gisèle Casadesus, Aidan Quinn and Natasha Mashkevich.
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