The Weinstein Company acquired most worldwide rights –China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are excluded — to The Guardian Brothers, an animated feature that will feature the voices of Mel Brooks, Nicole Kidman, and Zendaya. The film, which was released in China by Alibaba Pictures on January 1 under the title The Little Door Gods, is directed by Gary Wang and produced by Zhou Yu and Light Chaser Animation Studios. TWC will sell the film at Cannes. This follows TWC’s revelation it also bought international rights to The Nut Job 2, also on the sales block at Cannes.
Said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein: “I’ve loved working with our Beijing partners Light Chaser Animation. I’m determined to build our animation division for film and television. This is going to be a huge area for our company and The Guardian Brothers is just the beginning of our plan to bring the caliber of film associated with TWC to animation.”
Pic follows a Chinese family in danger of losing its family owned business – a wonton soup shop that’s been passed down generation after generation for hundreds of years. When the family’s grandmother passes away, the restaurant is left in the hands of a little girl named Raindrop (Zendaya) and her mother (Kidman). Millions of miles away in the Spirit World, we meet The Guardians – who have watched over and protected the humans on Earth for centuries. Times are tough up in the Spirit World and two brother Guardians are forced to retire from the business they’ve loved since the beginning of time. Back down on Earth, Raindrop and her mom are fending off a rival soup shop owner’s attempt to sabotage the family restaurant. When the retired Guardian brothers find out, they spring into action. Deal was brokered by TWC’s Michael Lappin, Michal Steinberg and Talia Houminer with Zhou Yu and Gary Wang on behalf of Light Chaser Animation Studios.
Said director Gary Wang: “We are thrilled that Harvey and the Weinstein team share our enthusiasm for this very Chinese film. It has been amazing working with them. I feel that our story has found a perfect home, and hope that the families around the world will enjoy the film.”