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Fox, Cosmic make a ‘Strange’ deal

Adaptation will be produced through Fox Animation

Twentieth Century Fox has acquired rights to the character “Emily the Strange” and will make a feature film that mixes live-action with animation.

Pic will be done through 20th Century Fox Animation, whose president, Chris Meledandri, made the deal with creator Rob Reger and his Cosmic Debris Etc. Deal follows Meledandri’s coup of acquiring rights from Theodor Geisel’s estate to make a CGI-animated pic from the Dr. Seuss classic “Horton Hears a Who” with “Ice Age” producer Blue Sky.

Emily the Strange is a rail-thin 13-year-old whose clothes are as black as her hair and as dark as the tone of her adventures. Reger hatched this symbol of anti-cool in 1993 through promotional stickers, skateboards and T-shirts that he distributed from his garage. Emily has grown into a multimillion-dollar industry, including an apparel line, three bestsellers published by Chronicle Books and an upcoming quarterly from Dark Horse Comics. Meledandri and veep John Cohen will oversee the pic.

“When John first introduced me to Emily, I was intrigued by Rob Reger’s subversive comedic attitude and his simple yet distinctive graphic design,” Meledandri said. “However, it was hearing Rob’s rich mythology for his character that convinced us to pursue the film rights.”

Reger spent several years honing that film vision.

“I had the idea to turn Emily into a movie about five years ago, following the first wave of publicity for the character,” Reger said. “Since then, I’ve been approached by many studios and producers, but only Fox was willing to make me a true partner in the process, and thus ensuring the integrity of the character.”

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