EXCLUSIVE: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s company struck a licensing arrangement with IndyCar — the organization that sanctions major races including the Indianapolis 500 — and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to secure their help with the 2013 release. Turbo is about a garden snail that idolizes 5-time Indy 500 champ Guy Gagne and tries to win the race after a freak accident gives it extraordinary speed. DreamWorks secured rights to use the racing group’s trademarked names and images by agreeing to buy an undisclosed amount of ad time on its broadcasts and at racing venues, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard tells me. His group will announce later some of the specific drivers who will be depicted in the film. “The Indianapolis 500 is a one-of-a-kind live event that has fascinated people of all ages for many, many years and Turbo is a character whose biggest ambition is to add his name to its list of international champions,” says Katzenberg, Dreamworks Animation’s CEO. The deal appealed to the racing organization, Bernard says, because “we’re trying to grow a business around the world. We look at this as an international film that will bring presence to IndyCar” especially among young audiences. The film is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2013. Actors providing voices for the film include Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson. In addition to the DreamWorks deal, IndyCar forged an alliance with Circle King Networks to develop home and retail videos, and with CineSport Video Network to produce Web content.
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