Skydance Media doesn’t fool around. The company has pegged its first two animated features and have nabbed top talent from DreamWorks to bring them to fruition: Vicky Jenson, who directed the Oscar-winning Shrek (with Andrew Adamson), will helm Split and Alessandro Carloni, who directed Kung Fu Panda 3 (with Jennifer Yuh Nelson), will direct Luck. Skydance plans to release both films under its just-formed animation label in partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios.
Split, written by Linda Woolverton (Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King), tells the story of Elian, 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 will also serve as a producer on the film which is so far only tentatively titled.
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. Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (The Kung Fu Panda trilogy, Trolls) are writing the script and will serve as producers on the film.
“I had an absolutely wonderful experience working with Jon and Glenn dating back to the first time I met them over a decade ago on the original Kung Fu Panda and I can’t wait to reunite with them to bring Luck to life at Skydance,” said Carloni.
Skydance Media’s CEO David Ellison along with Dana Goldberg, and Ilion’s Ignacio Pérez Dolset and Jose F San Román will serve as producers on both films.
Ellison who said in a statement: “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.”
Jenson’s feature directorial debut was on Shrek and has since directed her first live-action comedy, Post Grad, for Montecito Pictures and Fox Searchlight. She also served in design and art direction roles on several projects including The Ren and Stimpy Show and as production designer on both live action and animated features.
Also a veteran of DreamWorks Animation, Carloni not only directed Kung Fu Panda 3, but he also served as head of story on the first two How to Train Your Dragon films. In addition, he worked at the studio in a number of capacities, including supervising animator and story artist on the Oscar-nominated Kung Fu Panda. He joined DreamWorks Animation in 2002, but throughout his career, he has served as an animator, co-director, animation director, sculptor, special effects supervisor, storyboard and visual development artist, and designer.
Jenson is repped by WME and Carloni by UTA. Bothare repped by Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman.