Warner Bros Pictures has signed a multi-film pact with UK studio Locksmith Animation after the latter’s deal with 20th Century Fox ended prematurely earlier this year.
Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, and Courtenay Valenti, President Production and Development, Warner Bros. Pictures, announced the deal with Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart, Co-CEOs of Locksmith.
Locksmith was founded in 2014 by Bafta-winning writer and producer Sarah Smith, producer Julie Lockhart, together with Elisabeth Murdoch. The company initially signed a deal with Fox in 2017, but the pact was a casualty of the Disney take-over and ended earlier this year.
The studio’s debut feature Ron’s Gone Wrong is not covered by the new Warner Bros deal. The feature is currently in production and will be released by Disney, which took the project on following the House of Mouse’s acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets. Pic is due in late 2020.
The new pact with WB will cover the development and production of a slate of animated family features, which will be distributed theatrically worldwide by Warner Bros Pictures.
Locksmith will collaborate closely with Allison Abbate, Executive Vice President, Warner Animation Group, on the slate.
“In recent years, animation has become a tremendously important part of our slate, and this deal with Locksmith dovetails perfectly with our forward-going plans,” said Emmerich and Valenti. “We love Sarah and Julie’s sensibilities and work, and look forward to working with them to create titles that will enchant today’s audiences and become classics for future generations of animation lovers.”
“We’re absolutely delighted to become part of the Warner Bros. family with this partnership,” said Smith and Lockhart in a joint statement. “The studio has not only a revered legacy in animation, but an outstanding record in bringing contemporary family classics to global audiences. We look forward to working with its visionary leadership team to bring our unique voice and brand to worldwide audiences.”
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