GLENDALE, Calif., May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) announced today its plans to release five feature films every two years, adding an additional film every other year to its existing two picture a year release schedule on a going-forward basis. The Company also announced its upcoming slate of animated feature film releases through 2012.
The Company’s slate through 2012 now includes eight feature films from DreamWorks Animation’s talented and seasoned creative leadership team, including five original films and three sequels based on the Company’s existing blockbuster franchises, Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. As has been previously announced, all DreamWorks Animation feature films are now being produced in 3D.
“Our exceptionally talented and highly experienced creative team is bringing to DreamWorks Animation a significant number of imaginative, original and cutting-edge ideas today,” said Bill Damaschke, Co-President of Production and President of Live Theatrical. “Having achieved a high level of success and consistency in our creative process and having in our development pipeline more great story concepts than ever before, we are very confident in our ability to add one original film every other year.”
The upcoming animated films on the Company’s future theatrical release schedule are currently planned as follows:
How to Train Your Dragon, which is based on the book of the same name by Cressida Cowell, will be released on March 26, 2010. It is being written and directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) and Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch), produced by Bonnie Arnold (Over the Hedge, Toy Story) and will star Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig and TJ Miller. Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, the story centers around a teenager who lives on the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. But when he encounters – and ultimately befriends – an injured dragon, his world is turned upside down.
Shrek Forever After will be released on May 21, 2010. Aron Warner (producer of the Shrek franchise films) and Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) are serving as executive producers on the film, which is being directed by Mike Mitchell and produced by Teresa Cheng and Gina Shay and will feature the original all-star cast, including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas.
Oobermind (formerly titled Master Mind) will be released on November 5, 2010. It is being directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa), executive produced by Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld, produced by Lara Breay and Denise Nolan Cascino and will star Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey. When super villain Oobermind defeats his archrival Metro Man, the world should be his oyster. But instead, Oobermind falls into total despair. It turns out that life without a rival is life without a point for him. So he creates a new superhero rival. Unfortunately, the new hero wants to be a super villain too. Who can we turn to? Who has what it takes to stand up to this menace? Who will defend the innocent? Oobermind! That’s who.
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom will be released on June 3, 2011. The next chapter of the 2008 blockbuster is directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, produced by Melissa Cobb and will feature the return of the original all-star cast, including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and David Cross. A new villain has emerged with a mysterious weapon so powerful it threatens the very existence of kung fu. It is up to Po and the Furious Five to protect all that they know. But first, Po must confront his long lost past.
The Guardians (working title), based on the forthcoming books by William Joyce, will be released on November 4, 2011. It was brought to the Company by William Joyce and Reel FX, and is being directed by Jeff Lynch in collaboration with William Joyce and produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein. The world’s five unlikeliest heroes – Jack Frost, North (aka Santa), Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy), and Sandy (the Sandman) – must band together to stop an ancient spirit called Pitch (the Boogeyman) from plunging the world into eternal darkness.
Puss In Boots (working title) will be released on March 30, 2012. It is being directed by Chris Miller, produced by Joe Aguilar and Michelle Raimo and executive produced by Andrew Adamson, and will star Antonio Banderas as Puss In Boots and Salma Hayek as Kitty, Puss’ love interest. Swords will cross and hearts will be broken in this adventure starring one of the most beloved characters of the Shrek universe – Puss In Boots. It’s a swashbuckling ride through Puss’s early years as he teams with mastermind Humpty Dumpty and the street-savvy Kitty to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs.
The next chapter of the Company’s hit franchise Madagascar is due to be released on May 25, 2012. It is being directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and produced by Mireille Soria (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and Mark Swift (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa). Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple; King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are along for the adventure. This time the road takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent Madagascar style!
On November 2, 2012, the Company plans to release one of three original projects currently in pre-production at the studio. The first is The Croods (working title), which is being directed by Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco and produced by Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell. An old school caveman must lead his family across a volatile prehistoric landscape in search of a new home. The outsized flora and fauna are challenge enough, but the real complication arises when the family is joined by an alarmingly modern caveman whose search for “tomorrow” is at odds with our hero’s reliance on the traditions of yesterday. The second is Truckers (working title) based on The Bromeliad Trilogy by fantasy legend Terry Pratchett and written by Academy Award(R) winning writer, Simon Beaufoy. A society of tiny beings lives in a department store, right underfoot and unseen by the humans that shop there. To them, the store is the entire universe. And when they discover that the store is slated for demolition, they must embark on an epic journey to find a new home … ultimately learning that their true home is literally out of this world! And the third is an as-yet-untitled Super Secret Ghost Project, in which DreamWorks Animation will bring you ghosts as you’ve never seen them before.
DreamWorks Animation Chief Operating Officer Ann Daly added, “We are thrilled with our exciting line-up of feature projects. With so many promising original ideas and new franchise chapters in our pipeline, we believe this is the perfect time to share our theatrical plans for the next few years as we continue to lead the 3D charge and push creative boundaries to bring our stories to life.”
About DreamWorks Animation SKG
DreamWorks Animation is principally devoted to developing and producing computer generated, or CG, animated feature films. With world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced CG filmmaking technology and techniques, DreamWorks Animation makes high quality CG animated films meant for a broad movie-going audience. The Company anticipates releasing its feature films into both conventional and IMAX(R) theatres worldwide. The Company has theatrically released a total of eighteen animated feature films, including Shrek, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Shrek the Third, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Monsters vs. Aliens. All of the Company’s feature films are now being produced in stereoscopic 3D technology.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company’s plans, prospects, strategies, proposals and our beliefs and expectations concerning performance of our current and future releases and anticipated talent, directors and storyline for our upcoming films and other projects, constitute forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions which are difficult to predict. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological and/or regulatory factors, and other risks and uncertainties affecting the operation of the business of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. These risks and uncertainties include: audience acceptance of our film and other projects, our dependence on the success of a limited number of releases each year, the increasing cost of producing and marketing feature films, piracy of motion pictures, resource constraints resulting from our expanding number of films and other projects, the effect of rapid technological change or alternative forms of entertainment and our need to protect our proprietary technology and enhance or develop new technology. In addition, due to the uncertainties and risks involved in the development and production of our projects, the release dates described in this document may be delayed. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and our most recent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. DreamWorks Animation is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.
SOURCE DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.