Coming Soon reports that, “DreamWorks Animation has acquired Alan Schoolcraft & Brent Simons’ superhero sendup spec Master Mind . . . a satirical take on the superhero genre centering on a supervillain who loses his joie de vivre after accidentally killing his archrival, Uberman, in the opening scene of the movie.” The film will be produced by Stuart Cornfeld and comedian Ben Stiller. The article also mentions the name of the upcoming Madagascar sequel. UPDATE: The official press release follows:
DREAMWORKS ANIMATION ACQUIRES â€œMASTER MIND,â€
TO BE DEVELOPED AND PRODUCED WITH
BEN STILLERâ€™S RED HOUR FILMS
Glendale, CA â€“ April 3, 2007 â€“ DreamWorks Animation today announced the acquisition of writers Alan Schoolcraft & Brent Simonsâ€™ superhero send-up Master Mind, which was brought to the company by Lara Breay at Red Hour Films, the production entity of producing partners Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld. Red Hour will collaborate with DreamWorks Animation in developing and producing the project.
DreamWorks Animation veterans Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson are attached to make their feature film directorial debut with Master Mind. Their 2006 animated short film First Flight charmed audiences and critics groups alike. Master Mind will mark the first time Stiller collaborates with DreamWorks Animation in a production capacity, having previously voiced Alex the lion in the global hit Madagascar and in the upcoming Madagascar: The Crate Escape. Schoolcraft & Simons will write the film, with DreamWorks Animationâ€™s Chris Kuser and Red Hourâ€™s Lara Breay overseeing development.
Master Mind is a satirical send-up of the superhero genre, built around 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.
Red Hourâ€™s Ben Stiller commented, â€œStuart and Lara and I are really excited to be working with DreamWorks Animation on this project. 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.â€
DreamWorks Animation C.E.O. Jeffrey Katzenberg added, â€œWe are looking forward to collaborating again with Ben, this time on the production side of things. 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.â€
Writers Schoolcraft and Simons are represented by Dan Rabinow at ICM. Red Hour is repped by UTAâ€™s Sharon Sheinwold, and directors Hood and Jefferson by the William Morris Agency and Management 360.
Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson made their animation directing debut with First Flight. Both natives of Toronto and graduates of Sheridan College in Ontario, they began their professional careers together at DreamWorks working on the epic film, The Prince of Egypt. Hood and Jefferson continued at the studio, contributing to a variety of animated films such as: The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Shark Tale. Prior to working on Sinbad and Shark Tale, they each took a brief hiatus from DreamWorks to pursue other passions. Jefferson worked closely with director Michael Bay building action scene pre-visualizations for Pearl Harbor. Hood worked as an animator on Sony Imageworksâ€™ Stuart Little 2, while also teaching at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects where he currently hosts their best-selling character animation lecture series.
About Red Hour Films
Red Hour Films is a unique production company dedicated to discovering new writers and filmmakers and developing projects with a mainstream sensibility. In 2001, the company launched its first effort, Zoolander, the hit film based on a male model character Stiller co-created for the VH-1 Fashion Awards. Since then the company has had a string of successes most notably with the box office smash Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story directed by newcomer Rawson Marshall Thurber and starring Stiller and Vince Vaughn, and Starsky and Hutch, directed by Todd Phillips starring Stiller and Owen Wilson, the Jack Black and Kyle Gass vehicle, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny and Blades of Glory, starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder.
About DreamWorks Animation SKG
DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA) is devoted to producing high-quality family entertainment through the use of computer-generated (CG) animation. Utilizing world-class creative talent and state-of-the-art technological capabilities, the company is committed to making two computer-animated feature films a year that appeal to a broad movie-going audience.
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 Companyâ€™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 films, 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, 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 animated feature projects, the release dates for the projects 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.
Cameron Hood (left) and Kyle Jefferson (right)