Skydance Media has hired directors for its first animated movies with “Shrek” helmer Vicky Jenson attached to “Split” and “Kung Fu Panda 3” co-director Alessandro Carloni on “Luck.”
Monday’s announcement comes four months after Skydance disclosed it had launched an animated division and formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios to develop and produce a slate of animated feature films and TV series. It had announced at that point that Linda Woolverton would write “Split” and Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger would write “Luck.”
Skydance said it plans to release both films in partnership with Ilion.
“Vicky and Alessandro have played instrumental roles in bringing to life some of the most beloved animated franchises of all time and it is my pleasure to welcome them both into the Skydance family,” said Skydance’s Chief Executive Officer, David Ellison. “We are fortunate that – together with Linda Woolverton on ‘Split’ and Aibel & Berger on ‘Luck’ – we now have such prolific creative firepower at the center of Skydance’s first two feature endeavors in animation.”
“Split” tells the story of a teenager who comes of age using her magical powers to defend her family when the opposing forces of light and darkness threaten to divide her kingdom. Woolverton, whose credits include “Alice in Wonderland,” “Maleficent,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King,” is also producing.
Jenson said, “The concept of ‘Split’ is wonderfully inventive but at its core are themes so human and universal it is a story you feel as much as experience and one I believe all audiences will take with them.”
“Luck” is a comedy that pulls back the curtain on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects our daily lives. Aibel and Berger, who have credits on the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, will serve as producers on the film.
“Some people have all the ‘Luck’ and I’m incredibly thankful to join the creative team at Skydance and take a leadership role on this special project!” Carloni said.
David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Ilion’s Ignacio Pérez Dolset and Jose F San Román will also serve as producers on both films.
Jenson made her feature directorial debut was on “Shrek” with Andrew Adamson and won the first-ever Academy Award for an animated feature. Her credits include “Shark Tale” and the live-action “Post Grad,” starring Alexis Bledel.
Carloni served as head of story on the first two How to Train Your Dragon films. He joined DreamWorks Animation in 2002.
Skydance was formed by Ellison in 2010 to co-produce and co-finance films with Paramount. Its titles have included “True Grit,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “World War Z,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” “Terminator Genisys,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “Baywatch” and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”
Both Jenson and Carloni are repped by Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman. Jenson is also repped by WME while Carloni is repped by UTA.