×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

RKO, Roman team to toon up old pix

'Sinbad,' 'Blackbeard,' Musketeers pic to be animated

NEW YORK — RKO Pictures and animator Phil Roman have joined forces to turn a series of vintage films into animated features, starting with six pics that include the 1946 “Sinbad the Sailor,” the 1952 adventure “Blackbeard the Pirate” and the 1952 Three Musketeers adventure “At Sword’s Point.”

The deal was orchestrated by RKO chairman-CEO Ted Hartley and Roman, who recently left the company he created, Film Roman, to start his own venture. Hartley and Roman will exec produce the films, and while theatrical distribution is a possibility, the partners are considering producing the films for the direct-to-video market.

Branding boon

RKO will handle distribution worldwide and use portions of the films to feed its quickly growing Internet operation. The key, said Roman, is to exploit the RKO library to establish a brand name that connotes quality.

“I started my own company because at Film Roman, I had become more of a businessman,” said the six-time Emmy winner, who hatched Film Roman 14 years ago. “I wanted to get back to doing the thing I trained for in art school, and the RKO venture is the kind of linchpin I had been looking for.”

Roman’s veep Rick Ramirez and RKO execs Art Horan and Davis Marko made the deal.

Hartley said the deal with Roman gives RKO another library-building entity but also will service the company’s recent move onto the Web. “We don’t know quite yet what the market will be for the Internet, but we will have a series library ready.”

RKO has commissioned Massachusetts-based Art Barn to do 52 segments of “Alien Theater”; Hartley’s also working with Nashville-based writers Robert Deaton and George Flanigan to create the digital series “Nashville, Music Row,” a country music soap opera told in six minute episodes, with novelist Randall Patrick working on the script.

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content