With Tony® and Emmy Award® -Winning Actress, Kristin Chenoweth Cast in Hasbro's First Animated Feature Film
SANTA MONICA, Calif. and PAWTUCKET, R.I., Aug. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), a global company creating the world's best play experiences, are teaming up to prove that "friendship is magic" as the two companies bring Hasbro's world famous MY LITTLE PONY franchise to the big screen. Meghan McCarthy, fan-favorite writer and producer for the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, is penning the screenplay, which will be produced by Hasbro's Allspark Pictures. Lionsgate will be distributing and marketing the film globally (except in China). Tony® and Emmy Award®-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth will voice a new character in the film, which is Hasbro's first animated feature.
The MY LITTLE PONY brand has been enchanting fans of all ages worldwide for more than 30 years with its socially relevant messages of acceptance and friendship. What started in 1983 as a toy line of colorful ponies with unique symbols, called "cutie marks," has since exploded into international, multi-media, pop culture phenomena that grossed over $1 billion in retail sales in 2014. The entertainment continues to engage and inspire kids and families in over 180 countries across the globe.
"We are pleased to partner with Hasbro to bring their brands to audiences in new and exciting ways," said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig. "Meghan McCarthy and the MY LITTLE PONY cast are a very talented and cohesive team whom we're happy to be working with and we're excited about the addition of the very talented Kristin Chenoweth, as we explore new aspects of these characters and new story opportunities for the franchise."
"We are thrilled to expand the MY LITTLE PONY story to the big screen, and take these beloved characters on a new and unexpected journey that will delight fans of all ages," said Stephen Davis, Chief Content Officer, Hasbro, Inc. "It's an honor to add Kristin Chenoweth to the cast as the voice of an all new, never-before-seen MY LITTLE PONY character in the film. Her incredible Broadway and silver screen performances in "Wicked," "Glee," and many more make her the perfect fit for this animated, musical adventure."
In the movie, a new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship and save their home. The MY LITTLE PONY film will feature all new music with the Mane Six characters voiced by Tara Strong, Cathy Weseluck, Andrea Libman, Tabitha St. Germain and Ashleigh Ball. Jayson Theissen is directing. Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis are producing the film with Meghan McCarthy and Michael Vogel co-executive producing.
Creative executives Jeyun Choi Munford and Kyle Benn will oversee the movie on behalf of Lionsgate, and Josh Feldman is overseeing development on behalf of Hasbro. The deal was negotiated by Jean Chi, Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs for Lionsgate, and Michael Eisner, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs for Hasbro. This is the second film from Lionsgate and Hasbro, who are also producing a live action film based on the iconic board game, MONOPOLY.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and lifestyle licensing, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection with children and families around the world. The Company's Hasbro Studios and its film label, ALLSPARK PICTURES, create entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film, digital and more. Through the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families. Learn more at www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
Certain statements in this release contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include expectations concerning future entertainment content development and release schedules, as well as the participants in developing and distributing such content. Actual events may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements due to both known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Specific factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, changes by the parties in their future entertainment plans, content development efforts and release schedules. The parties undertake no obligation to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.
For Lionsgate: Joanna Massey (310) 255-3602 JMassey@Lionsgate.com
For Hasbro: Julie Duffy (401) 727-5931 JDuffy@Hasbro.com