New-media company Threshold Entertainment has started production on its first digitally animated feature film “Foodfight!” after raising $50 million in equity financing.
Threshold Digital Research Labs, the effects house subsid of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Threshold Entertainment, will team with South Korean animation company Natural Image to produce the feature, tentatively skedded for release in two years. Plot focuses on the after-hour antics of products in a grocery store.
“For us, this is ‘Casablanca,’ ” Larry Kasanoff, Threshold chairman-CEO, told Daily Variety. “It’s an epic film that just happens to be animated.”
Kasanoff, exec producer of “True Lies” and “Strange Days” as well as the “Mortal Combat” franchise, will produce the film with Alison Savitch, prexy of Threshold Digital Research Labs and visual effects supervisor for “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”
The script was written by Brent Friedman, scribe of “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” and Rebecca Swanson from a story by Kasanoff and executive producer Joshua Wexler, who was associate producer on “Annihilation.”
In addition, George Johnsen will serve as executive producer, with Daniel Suh and Gregory Cascante, producer of “Beowulf,” teaming up as co-exec producers.
Kasanoff said Threshold has been working for more than a year to secure the rights to animate product characters like Mr. Clean from Procter & Gamble, Mr. Pringle from Dolly Madison, Twinkie the Kid from Interstate Foods and the Chiquita Banana Lady.
A prequel series to the movie, “Foodfight!: The Adventures of Dex Detective,” will bow exclusively in six months on TheThreshold.com to create early buzz for the feature.
” ‘Foodfight!’ marks the culmination of all we’ve been working towards — a huge film, Web site, animation, toys — all financed and produced by Threshold Digital Research Labs and our partners,” Kasanoff said.
Natural Image is backed by Korean entertainment companies Filmtree, Bixel Media and Colorbank. Peter Choi, prexy of Natural Image, is also in charge of publicly traded Korean animation company Hahnshin.
Threshold Digital Research Labs has previously done effects and animation for pics including “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” “The Faculty” and “Dogma.”