You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Warner Bros. Intl. Television Distribution is teaming with veteran animation producer Fred Wolf to co-produce 26 episodes of a half-hour cartoon series “The Fantastic Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor” – the first time the Time Warner Inc. unit has ventured into the international co-production waters.

The company’s co-production efforts are being spearheaded by Catherine Malatesta. The VP of international TV sales was hired away from Westinghouse Intl. six months ago, partly because of her experience in the international co-production arena.

Traditionally in the international TV biz, indie production/distribberies, rather than the Hollywood majors, have taken the lead in fostering foreign co-production relationships: They had to, not having the kind of financial muscle to undertake projects alone, or the massive programming rights to sell abroad. Nowadays even the Hollywood majors have begun to share risks with foreign partners and localize their product for foreign markets.

The “Sinbad” project marks WBITD’s first step in an effort to establish strategic alliances for co-production and distribution of programming abroad.

“With the issue of local content quotas already being practiced or creeping up around the world, we (WBITD) realized that we need to be active in forming foreign alliances,” says Malatesta. “Animation is a natural for getting started in this area, but we’re having a lot of different conversations across the gamut of programming genres.”

“Sinbad” will be produced in Dublin at Wolfs own animation studio and hence qualify as a locally produced European series. Wolf is a financial partner in the project, which is skedded for a fall 1996 debut; German and British co-financiers are also expected to come on board.

Wolf, whose credits include the original “Casper the Friendly Ghost” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” cartoons, will bring his own brand of quirkiness to the classic Sinbad adventure tale, according to Malatesta. No domestic outlet has yet been announced for the series, though Time Warner’s new netlet, the WB, is thought to be a likely candidate; WBITD will retain most foreign rights.

More Scene

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content