CULVER CITY, Calif., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marza Animation Planet, a CG animation film production company of the SEGA SAMMY Group, today announced a partnership to develop a film based on the acclaimed Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. A hybrid CG-animated/live-action feature, the movie will be written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux and produced by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner, along with Marza's Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi. Toby Ascher will serve as an executive producer.
The film will look to capture Sonic's irreverent tone and spirit, reuniting him with some of the most revered and infamous characters of the franchise, including the evil Dr. Eggman. Playful, mischievous, and quick on his feet in more ways than one, the world's fastest hedgehog is known for his ability to move at supersonic speed to protect his friends from their enemies. For more than two decades, Sonic has been one of the world's biggest gaming icons and a $1 billion franchise with more than 140 million games sold.
Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures' president of Production said, "There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog, and a built-in international fan base. Along with our wonderful creative partners at Marza, we're looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before."
Marza Animation Planet CEO Masanao Maeda added, "Sonic has had dozens of adventures on the console and the small screen, and we're thrilled that he's now coming to the big screen. Sony Pictures has had great success with hybrid animated and live-action features, and we're confident that this collaboration will bring a fresh take to Sonic, while still capturing everything that the fans love about him."
Marza is a leading CG animation production company with the vision to create films to the global market from Japan, by combining global storytelling and Japanese creativity. It plans to release one feature-length film each year.
Hannah Minghella and Andrea Giannetti will oversee for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFO:
EVAN SUSSER and VAN ROBICHAUX are alumni of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA. Their feature film screenplay, Chewie, was ranked No. 3 on the 2011 Black List. They are currently writing How to Grow Up, a series in development for CBS, and Fist Fight, a feature film, with New Girl star Max Greenfield and producers Shawn Levy, Billy Rosenberg, and Dan Cohen. They are also writing a live-action version of "The Jetsons."
NEAL H. MORITZ, founder of Original Film, has been producing feature film and television for over three decades. His upcoming feature films include 22 Jump Street, a sequel to the hit action-comedy starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum that took in over $200 million worldwide, Goosebumps, starring Jack Black and based on the international bestselling book series, and Fast & Furious 7, the latest installment in the long-running series. With over 40 films to Moritz's credit, past titles include R.I.P.D., Jack the Giant Killer, Total Recall, The Change-Up, Battle: Los Angeles, The Green Hornet, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Made of Honor, Gridiron Gang, Bounty Hunter, Evan Almighty, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Out of Time, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice. Original Film's box office is north of six billion dollars worldwide.
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.
MARZA ANIMATION PLANET, INC.
MARZA ANIMATION PLANET, INC. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS INC, the comprehensive entertainment enterprise group. Established in June 2009, CG Image Production Department of SEGA® Corporation has spun-off as Sega Sammy Visual Entertainment Inc. In July 2010, the trade name was changed to MARZA ANIMATION PLANET, INC. In the best filmmaking environment and with Japan's top CG production technology, MARZA develops and produces CG animated film from Japan to the world. For more information, visit http://marza.com.
SEGA® Corporation is a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home, encompassing consumer business, amusement machine sales and amusement center operations. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SEGA® Corporation's Web site is located at http://sega.jp.
SOURCE Sony Pictures Entertainment