CULVER CITY, Calif., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Animation, a
division of Sony Pictures Digital, is set to begin production on its first
feature length CGI motion picture, "Open Season." The announcement was made
today by Yair Landau, Vice-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and
president of Sony Pictures Digital.
"Open Season" will feature the vocal talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton
Kutcher and Debra Messing. In a classic, mismatched comedic pairing, "Open
Season" tells the story of a 900 pound domesticated Grizzly bear named Boog
(Lawrence) and a scrawny, one-horned mule deer named Elliot (Kutcher),
stranded together in the woods during hunting season. Boog and Elliot must
work together to rally the animals of the forest and turn the tables on the
hunters. Messing will voice the character of Beth, a forest ranger who
rescued Boog as a cub and raised him. "Open Season" is inspired by the humor
of syndicated cartoonist Steve Moore (In the Bleachers). Moore will serve as
executive producer along with John Carls.
Sony Pictures Animation was established in May, 2002, and is led by
Executive Vice Presidents Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox. "Open
Season" will be the division's first release, scheduled for distribution in
"Penney and Sandy have assembled a team of outstanding, innovative
filmmakers," said Landau. "Open Season is just the first in a slate of
technologically and artistically compelling features from Sony Pictures
"In casting the characters of Boog, Elliot and Beth, we knew we had to
find actors with great comedic timing," said Rabins and Finkelman Cox. "Boog
is a domesticated bear who has the town wired and Elliot is a fast-talking
misfit. In Martin and Ashton, we've found a comedic duo who will truly bring
to life the personalities of Boog and Elliot. Debra will bring to the
character of Beth such heart and warmth, at the same time providing her own
unique wit and humor."
"Open Season" is directed by Jill Culton, with Anthony Stacchi serving as
co-Director. Culton was credited with the original story for "Monsters, Inc,"
where she served as both Head of Story Development and as Conceptual Artist;
she was on the story team for "Toy Story 2," where she is credited with
designing the character of Jessie. Culton's other credits include "A Bug's
Life" (Storyboard Artist), "Cats Don't Dance" (Directing Animator), and "Toy
Story" (Story). Stacchi most recently was part of the development team on
Curious George. Other credits include "Antz" (Story artist) and "James and
the Giant Peach" (visual effects).
The digital animation will be provided by Sony Pictures Imageworks,
currently in production on the highly anticipated CGI adaptation of the
beloved children's book, "The Polar Express," with Robert Zemeckis; and
"Spider-Man 2," the sequel to the 2002 blockbuster film "Spider-Man."
Imageworks produced last year's Academy Award(R)-winning animated short film,
Martin Lawrence is one of America's most popular actor/comedians, having
made his mark in both film and television. He recently starred in Columbia
Pictures hit action film "Bad Boys II" and "National Security" as well as his
one-man stand-up comedy feature "Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat." In
addition, he starred in such box-office hits as "Big Momma's House," which he
also executive produced, "Blue Streak," the original "Bad Boys" co-starring
Will Smith and "Life" opposite Eddie Murphy.
Additional film credits include "Black Knight," "What's The Worst That Can
Happen?" with Danny DeVito, "Nothing To Lose" with Tim Robbins, "Boomerang"
also with Eddie Murphy, the "House Party" films, Spike Lee's "Do The Right
Thing" and "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," in which he not only starred
but also co-wrote and directed.
Kutcher, currently starring in the psychological thriller "The Butterfly
Effect," is one of Hollywood's fastest rising stars. He first achieved
recognition on the popular comedy series "That 70s Show." His motion picture
credits include "Just Married" and "Dude, Where's My Car?" Upcoming for
Kutcher are "The Dinner Party" and "Alot Like Love." Kutcher created and
produced the hit MTV series "Punk'd."
Messing is an Emmy Award-winning actress currently in her sixth season on
NBC's "Will & Grace," for which she has earned an Emmy Award for Best Actress
and three nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, two SAG nominations and
two American Comedy Award nominations for her portrayal of Grace. She
recently starred in the hit comedy "Along Came Polly" and most recently
completed shooting the lead role in the romantic comedy entitled "Something
Borrowed" opposite Dermot Mulroney. She also lent her vocal talents to the
animated release "Garfield: The Movie," in which Bill Murray is the voice of
Messing co-starred in Woody Allen's comedy "Hollywood Ending" opposite
Woody Allen and Tea Leoni and in "The Mothman Prophecies" opposite Richard
Gere. Additional film credits include Alfonso Arau's "A Walk in the Clouds"
and Woody Allen's "Celebrity." Her television credits include the four-hour
CBS mini-series, "Jesus," the ABC thriller "Prey," the Fox comedy "Ned &
Stacey," "NYPD Blue" and "Seinfeld."
About Sony Pictures Digital
Sony Pictures Digital (SPD), an operating unit of Sony Pictures
Entertainment (SPE) oversees the activities of SPE's digital production and
online assets. Sony Pictures Digital consists of four key operating business
units: Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online
Entertainment and Sony Pictures Digital Networks, which is focused on mobile
entertainment, broadband video delivery and personal media software and
services. By making information and entertainment available anywhere, anytime
on any enabled device, Sony Pictures Digital is exploring new technology that
links hardware with software in ways that advance the current boundaries of
the entertainment landscape. For more information please visit
About Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a
Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a
division of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based
Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production
and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content
creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment
acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of
new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of
filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be
found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com .
For further information contact:
Senior Vice President, Media Relations
Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
SOURCE Sony Pictures Animation