David Ellison's Skydance Media has launched an animation division and formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios to develop and produce a slate of animated feature films and TV series.The slate will commence with two animated feature films currently in development, to be produced in Spain. The first, which will be released in 2019, is being written by animation veteran Linda Woolverton ("Alice in Wonderland," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King"), and tells the story of Elian,...
As the son of billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison, David Ellison could have found other ways to occupy his time. If his career as a movie mogul doesn’t yet pan out, he will always have his pilot’s license to fall back on. Yet Ellison has a no-nonsense instinct for creative commercial projects that range from the Coen brothers’ surprise 2010 hit “True Grit,” which overtook their 2008 Oscar winner “No Country For Old Men,” to straightforward blockbusters such as “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (2011) and last year’s “Star Trek Beyond.” Indeed, SkyDance’s first 10 features have cumulatively grossed around $4 billion globally.
Though Skydance Media was formed in 2010, it has grown incrementally in the years since, reflecting Ellison’s formidable ambitions (“We want to be Marvel,” he told the New York Times). In 2013, Ellison unveiled Skydance Television – whose current slate includes Emmy-nominated “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix – which was followed more recently by Skydance Interactive, set up after the acquisition of game development company The Workshop Entertainment to create original and IP-based VR experiences and games.
Ellison’s first producer credit – 2015’s “Terminator Genisys” – suggests that Skydance is likely to have a sci-fi bent (two more “Terminator” films and a new standalone TV series are still on the drawing board), a theme that continues in 2017 with Dean Devlin’s “Geostorm” and Alex Garland’s “Annihilation.” “Terminator 6,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is expected to start production in 2018.