Warner Bros. is keen on ramping up its animated features division. The studio is forming a creative consortium “that’s aimed at delivering one ‘high-end’ film per year.” Said consortium includes John Requa and Glen Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love., Cats & Dogs), Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins). Apparently the filmmakers will work both individually and collectively in order to generate animated fare, but they’ll also continue to write and direct live-action films. Hit the jump for the details on what kinds of films are in development.
Per Variety, the first feature project to come out of this group is Lego: Piece of Resistance, written and directed by Lord and Miller, set for release on February 7, 2014. The 2015 pic is called Storks, being written by Stoller and to be directed by Doug Sweetland (Pixar’s short Presto), while 2016 will see the release of Smallfoot, which is being written by Requa and Ficarra based on an original idea by Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me). Pablos will direct.
The animation world has seen considerable growth in the past few years, with Sony Pictures Animation, the stop-motion studio Laika, and more becoming formidable rivals for heavyweights Pixar, Disney, and DreamWorks Animation. Here’s hoping Warner Bros. becomes a worthy addition to the animation world.