‘Shrek’s Vicky Jenson to Direct Animated Movie ‘Spellbound’ for Skydance, Paramount

     July 20, 2020

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Paramount and Skydance have announced that the original animated musical Spellbound will hit theaters on Nov. 11, 2022 — nine months after the release of Skydance Animation’s first original feature, Luck.

Vicky Jenson, who co-directed Shrek with Andrew Adamson, will direct from a script by Mulan scribes Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin as well as The Lion King writer Linda Woolverton. The story is set in a world of magic, where a young girl must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.

Shrek producer David Lipman recently joined the project, and Paramount will co-finance the film, expanding the studio’s partnership with David Ellison‘s media company. Meanwhile, legendary composer Alan Menken will write the original score and songs, having already won eight Academy Awards — which is more competitive Oscars than any living person. Finally, Glenn Slater (Tangled) has been tapped to write the lyrics, and his fellow Grammy winner Chris Montan (The Little Mermaid) will serves as executive music producer.

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Image via Disney

Luck and Spellbound create rich worlds and compelling characters that we know will resonate with audiences everywhere. It’s incredibly exciting to see our team of legendary creatives working around the clock and across the globe to bring these pictures to life,” said Skydance Animation president Holly Edwards.

“These films not only continue our longstanding relationship with Skydance, but, along with Paramount Animation’s own upcoming films, mean we will be releasing event-level animated films for years to come,” added Paramount’s distribution chief Chris Aronson.

As for Luck, that animated film is directed by Peggy Holmes and follows the unluckiest girl alive as she stumbles upon a never-before-seen world of good and bad luck, and joins forces with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck itself.

Edwards runs Skydance Animation with Pixar veteran John Lasseter, and it’s encouraging to see the company backing female filmmakers and female-driven narratives, especially given the way Lasseter was accused by some women at Pixar of holding back their careers and stifling their advancement. For some background on Lasseter’s controversial hiring, click here.

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