EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Lionsgate has closed motion picture rights to produce a hybrid live-action movie based on Ubisoft’s Rabbids video game franchise. Mandeville Films’ Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman, who were behind such mega hits as Beauty and the Beast and Wonder are producing with Jason Altman and Margaret Boykin for Ubisoft Film & Television.
The studio and producers are in advanced talks with Isn’t It Romantic‘s Todd Strauss-Schulson to direct. Alex Young from Mandeville will serve as an executive producer.
The Rabbids video games has sold more than 15M units to date and the animated television show airs in more than 110 countries. Rabbids are wild rabbit-like creatures who like to cause havoc and mischief, speak gibberish and yell “BWAH!” whenever they experience adrenaline rushes. They were initially introduced as antagonists in the mid ’90s video game franchise Rayman before going on to have a successful spinoff life of their own. The series consists mainly of party video games, though other genres have been explored as well.
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The existing screenplay is being written by Matt Senreich, Tom Sheppard & Zeb Wells, and was revised by Todd Rosenberg, that was previously developed at Sony. Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa will oversee development for Lionsgate.
Strauss-Schulson, who is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, also helmed such pics as New Line’s A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, and the critically acclaimed horror comedy Final Girls.
The deal was negotiated by Dan Freedman. Strass-Schulson’s deal was negotiated by Freedman, WME and Greg Slewett at Ziffren. Mandeville’s deal was negotiated by Freedman, and by Aloni and Stewart Brookman at Hansen Jacobson. I hear that the deal took a year to hammer out and encompasses even merchandising.
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