Ankling exec has shepherded project since early on

Just days after announcing his departure from 20th Century Fox at the end of the year, chairman Tom Rothman is set to produce Steven Spielberg’s “Robopocalypse,” which is a co-production with DreamWorks.

Rothman has shepherded the project closely from the beginning, even making personal calls to reporters when Fox announced the project a year ago. Disney will distribute “Robopocalypse” domestically through its Touchstone label while Fox will handle international territories. The companies will share equally in worldwide theatrical revenues.

Fox originally slated “Robopocalypse” for release July 3, 2013, but pushed the pic back a year to open day-and-date worldwide on April 25, 2014.

“Robopocalypse,” a sci-fi epic adapted from Daniel H. Wilson’s novel by scribe Drew Goddard, centers on the fate of the human race after a robot uprising. DreamWorks acquired the rights to Wilson’s unpublished manuscript in November 2009. Title was released by Doubleday in June of last year.

“When someone like Tom is a free agent, you snatch him up fast. He has proven himself to be a necessity of this industry. At Fox he had already been an enthusiastic partner on ‘Robopocalypse,’ and it is to our advantage that he would come produce this film with me. Tom has been a wonderful friend and colleague over the years and DreamWorks is incredibly lucky to have him on board,” said Spielberg.

“If you are in politics, you dream of a call from the White House, in baseball, from the Yankees, in movies, from Steven Spielberg. ‘Robopocalypse’ is the kind of important epic entertainment, a big movie with big ideas, that Steven does better than anyfilmmaker on earth. I am honored beyond measure that he asked for my help on it and fired up to do whatever I can for him, Stacey, the outstanding DreamWorks team, and all of my friends at Fox. I enjoyed the idea of being unemployed for a week, but this will be way more fun,” said Rothman.

“Tom was a fantastic studio chairman and his impeccable taste and passion for films will serve Steven, DreamWorks and this film well,” added Stacey Snider.

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