‘My Little Pony’ Movie in the Works at Hasbro Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

How Peggy Charren Overpowered the Children's

Film will join 'Jem and the Holograms' as the first to be produced through Allspark Pictures

Hasbro Studios has given the greenlight to a “My Little Pony” movie, with plans to release the animated film in 2017.

The film will join “Jem and the Holograms” as the first to be produced through Allspark Pictures, a new label through which the company will self-finance or pair up with other companies to co-finance a slate of film projects.

Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Prods. already is co-producing the live action “Jem,” with Universal Pictures co-financing the movie’s budget. The studio has dated the film for release on Oct. 23, 2015.

Hasbro Studios will take the reins of “My Little Pony,” producing and financing it inhouse. It is in discussion with studios to release the film “on the broadest possible number of screens,” said Stephen Davis, president of Hasbro Studios and global entertainment and licensing for Hasbro Inc. “We’re very excited about the potential of that movie.”

Joe Ballarini, who previously wrote “Atlantis 7” for Walden Media, 21 Laps and Gotham Group; “Lockdown at Franklin High” for Sony;  and was recently tapped to adapt the graphic novel “Cardboard” for Fox Animation; will pen the script for the “Pony” pic, while Megan McCarthy, who produces and has written for the series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and straight-to-homevideo “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls” films, will serve as co-executive producer on the theatrical movie. Ballarini is repped by Paradigm and Apostle.

Introduced in 1983 and developed by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D’Aguanno, the “My Little Pony” characters have colorful bodies, manes and distinguishing “cutie marks” on their flanks. The property has launched four animated series and been revamped over the years, enjoying strong sales in the 1980s and then again in 2010, with its popularity driven by well-received shows.

“Jem” is a musical fantasy that reimagines Jem amid the current hyperlinked social media era in a story of a small-town girl going from underground video sensation to global superstar with her three sisters.

Jon M. Chu directed from Ryan Landels’ script with Aubrey Peeples as the lead. Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also star.

Hasbro also is partners with Blumhouse on its next film, “Ouija,” out in theaters Oct. 24 through Universal. Stiles White directed the thriller that’s based on Hasbro’s game.

Hasbro has no plans to turn its back on big-budget franchises.

“We will continue to make big tentpole movies with our studio partners,” Davis said of franchises like “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe,” at Paramount, and “Monopoly” and “Candy Land” at Sony, “but there is another set of movies where we feel we have an opportunity to have a bit more control over the budgeting, financing, calendarization, marketing and creative of our films. There are new economic models that fit certain films.”

With “My Little Pony,” Hasbro already has produced direct-to-homevideo animated movies and is producing the 100th episode of the franchise’s current TV series that plays on kids cable channel Discovery Family, formerly the Hub, in the U.S., and in over 180 countries worldwide. The Hub switched to Discovery Family on Oct. 13.

“We have a lot of experience working on this particular brand,” and when it comes to producing the animation, technology has brought down costs to a level where it doesn’t need to spend $100 million or more to make the film. Hasbro declined to disclose the budget on the “Pony” pic.

“Film and TV is a key driver and very important part of the building blocks for a company like Hasbro,” Davis said. “It’s where we want to use great stories to activate our brands.”

Hasbro’s girls segment, which includes “My Little Pony,” “Nerf Rebelle” and other toy lines, saw sales increase 5% to $407.7 million during the company’s third quarter, whose results were announced Monday, during which overall revenue increased 7% to $1.47 billion.

For more on Hasbro’s film strategy, please see Tuesday’s edition of Variety.

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  1. Nadira Anugrah says:

    Wow i hope its a great film is it in cinemas or a tv show?

  2. zella schott says:

    Nice blog post ! I was fascinated by the details ! Does anyone know if I might obtain a blank UK VAF1A document to work with ?

  3. ShinMegamiTenseiShy says:

    I hope that Tara Strong, Tabitha St Germain, Andrea Libman & Ashleigh Ball will be voicing the Mane Six.

  4. I found out what the title is going to be: “My Little Pony: The Movie.” I’m probably the only one who’s not impressed with that being the title. Why not just call it “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: The Movie”? Calling it “My Little Pony: The Movie” would confuse it with the 1986 one (which based on a book I’ve read on it is pretty good, though no masterpiece), like this:

    Me: What are you watching?

    MLP fan: I’m watching “My Little Pony the Movie!”

    Me: OK…wait! Which “My Little Pony the Movie?” The 1986 one, or the 2017 one?

    See what I mean?

  5. brwa2net says:

    What happen when One bird and an evil Entity have been unleashed upon Equestria?

  6. SonicWesley says:

    Pls do a crossover of Sonic The Hedgehog and MLP! owner of sonic: SEGA owner of MLP : Hasbro

  7. Essie says:

    I am just hoping this isn’t the end of the series. I doubt it, but you never know

  8. I wonder if this new 2017 MLP motion picture is gonna be distributed by a major hollywood studio like Universal, Warner Bros., or any of the like. What do you think?

  9. Dimitrius ΑΝΦΑΚΜΙ says:

    THIS IS SEXY

  10. Jane says:

    Excited for the MLP movie. Don’t care for the turning the ponies into people in Equestria Girls.

  11. Furminator says:

    This better be the best freakin movie EVER!!!

  12. Dimitrius ΑΝΦΑΚΜΙ says:

    SEXY

  13. Jeremy says:

    Hoepfully, they do two things with this movie:

    1. Keep Michael Bay’s filthy hands off it.
    2. No killing of any ponies, not even the background ponies. I hate to see what happened to most of the G1 Autobots happen in Equestria.

  14. Sweets says:

    Great!

    … Except that Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks were both not direct-to-DVD movies.

  15. Carrie McGlynn says:

    I hope this means that Hasbro will release it’s original 1980s movies and TV series on DVD and Blu Ray.

  16. Anon says:

    more like jenkem amirite

  17. Herb Flynn says:

    Great,it can become a cult midnight movie for the “Bronies” :)

  18. SheWhoRocks says:

    Okay, I’m excited for live-action Jem (so long as they keep it authentic), and especially for a FiM movie!! Frankly, G4 is the only MLP generation I find really excellent. I was never obsessed with any of the others, and merely found them kind of cute. G4/FiM is simply amazing. A REAL movie, as opposed to another Equestria Girls (both of which are good, by the way) will be most welcome. It’s about time! ;) And I wouldn’t mind Flash Sentry being in it.

  19. Titanium Dragon says:

    Well, good news is that they’ll actually try.

    Bad news is that they’re hiring the guy who did Ice Age: Continental Drift and Turbo, which were terrible.

  20. Loyal Wing says:

    this is going to be awesome.just don’t let flash sentry be in it

  21. But I already saw “My Little Pony The Movie”, back when I was like 5 years old. I don’t think this rendition will be nearly as awesome as the one from 1986.

  22. Leishycat says:

    Technically, the two My Little Pony movies that have already been made were not direct to video. They were both released in theaters as well, though it was a limited release.

  23. josh says:

    The “Bronies” will be quite excited…

  24. Laus Deo says:

    I hope they keep the original show staff. They’ve done a heck of a job on this show. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic works so well because it’s not trying to be something it’s not. It’s not trying to be SpongeBob or Disney or whatever… it’s just doing its own thing and that’s what it should do. Props to Hasbro, this brony is happy.

  25. Conservative - Christian - Brony says:

    I love My Little Pony and my family loves My Little Pony! As long as they make it a continuation of the ”Friendship is Magic” show and they keep it in that really unique style and tone I’m sure it’ll be a great movie!

  26. anon says:

    Keep it in the heart of the show, keep the adventure element, leave the appeal to families and please please please don’t make it a CGI movie and I will pay for a ticket on opening day. Hasbro and company has done a great job on this show. The music is great. The voice actors and actresses are great, the animation style is great and the stories are great.

  27. dudebro says:

    “Straight to homevideo.”
    No, both Equestria Girls movies had a limited theatrical release.

  28. Pilm Bare says:

    Solo por favor pido una cosa… HASBRO… No la cagues :(

  29. Joey Tansey says:

    Its a new writer you guys. Im honestly more worried than excited.

  30. My kids are going to lose it over this news!

  31. Jamie says:

    Finally! So excited for this!

  32. JoJo the Hobo says:

    I’m praying like mad that Spike will have his sardonic and mature personality back, that he will contribute as much to the plot as the other ponies, and that his unique status as the only dragon among ponies will be acknowledge, and that his ambiguous relationship with Twilight will be explored so some extent. They can do whatever the heck they want with the mane six, Spike’s the one who still needs more character building.

  33. You’ve done good, Hasbro. You’ve done good! I’m a college guy and I have certainly been delighted and enthralled with your pony franchise since 2010 it’s such a remarkable kids cartoon. It’s been quite a while since a cartoon show focused on slice of life and actually had a sensible story about the heart and friends instead of the usual cynicism nowadays! It reminds me of the time when the first Pokemon movie came out, and I can’t believe that I’ll be able to relieve that day again pretty soon with ponies. And what do you know I’ll probably be graduating then too. Best gift ever! ;)

  34. Finally, this is what this 23 year old college guy has been waiting for a pony movie, an ALL out pony movie. Better tell my other nerdy classmates from the sciences and engineering this is gonna be one hell of a ride till then. Thank you, Hasbro I feel so excited!! :D

  35. Neither of the Equestria Girls movies were released direct-to-DVD. Equestria Girls and its sequel, Rainbow Rocks both saw limited theatre releases in select cities.

    • anon says:

      Notice “limited”.

      • Scootareader says:

        Wat.

        “Limited” does not equal “direct-to-DVD.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-to-video

        Need I also add that both movies aired on The HUB Network (Rainbow Rocks was out before they switched to Discovery Family, put your Cheetos down please), which also disqualifiies it from the direct-to-video status as alleged in the article.

        It was a simple slip of the tongue on the part of the article writer; I have no idea why you think a limited theatrical release would somehow qualify a movie as being direct-to-video.

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