Sony’s now the tenant in toon ‘House’

Zemeckis, Spielberg to exec produce

A correction was made to this article on July 20, 2004.

Sony has picked up the animated pic “Monster House” from DreamWorks, where it was in turn-around.

Pic will be the second film made using “performance capture” animation — which will first be showcased in Warner Bros.’ “Polar Express” this November.

ImageMovers partners Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey and Jason Clark are producing. Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg are exec producing.

Move is fitting as Sony Pictures Imageworks developed the performance capture system — known as ImageMotion — which believably records the movements of characters, such as Tom Hanks’ in “Polar Express.”

“Monster House” will begin production at Imageworks on Aug. 23.

More surprising is the fact that DreamWorks partner Spielberg is an exec producer, raising the question of why the film couldn’t get done at his own studio.

DreamWorks would not comment.

“Monster House” is based on an original screenplay by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. Gil Kenan will direct. Pic is about three kids who discover that a neighbor’s house is a living, breathing monster. They try to stop the house’s evil plans, though adults don’t believe their claims.

Pic’s heavy f/x requirements make it a perfect ImageMotion film.

The third ImageMotion pic looks to be another Zemeckis film: “Measle and the Wrathmonk” is an adaptation of the first in what will be a three-book series by Ian Ogilvy. Warners and ImageMovers recently bought the feature rights.

Zemeckis would not comment.

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