Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Warner Bros. Into Animation With Both Feet

The company's a long way from the late nineties, when animation was barely part of its agenda.

Warner Bros. unveiled its movie and television strategy Wednesday paced by three Lego films, three movies based on J.K. Rowling ”Harry Potter”-inspired wizard stories and 10 DC Entertainment superhero projects.

Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed details of the movies, including titles and release schedules, at the Time Warner investors meeting. ...

The movies, it turns out, are live-action features larded with animation, or straight-up animated features:

"Ninjago" (2016)

"The Lego Batman Movie" (2017)

"Lego Movie 2" (2018)

And then there's the heavy-on-the-CGI specimens of the live-action persuasion:

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)

“Suicide Squad” (2016)

“Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot (2017)

“Justice League Part One” with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)

“The Flash” starring Ezra Miller (2018)

“Aquaman” starring Jason Momoa (2018)

“Shazam” (2019)

“Justice League Part Two” (2019)

“Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)

“Green Lantern” (2020)

Pre-production for the Lego movies is being done in Burbank, with the nuts-and-bolts production work accomplished in Australia. All the live-action features? Those are, at this point, anyone's guess, but with expanded tax incentives, California has a shot at doing some of them.

Who knows? Maybe even some of the CG animation and effects will be done here.

Add On; Then there is this newsie tid bit:

HBO is cutting the cord.

The company announced on Wednesday that it will launch a standalone streaming video service in the U.S. that will allow you to watch HBO programming without paying for an expensive cable subscription.

"It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO," Richard Plepler, HBO's CEO, said at an investor conference in New York on Wednesday, adding that it will be "transformative" for the company.

A lot of details remain unclear at this point -- how much will the service cost? Will it simply be HBO GO sold as a standalone product, or a slimmed down version with only some of the programming? Plepler acknowledged as much in his presentation, but said that for "competitive reasons," he won't be able to answer questions today.


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