‘Hood’ sequel gets a wink

Weinstein, Kanbar animate 'Evil' plan

NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co. and Kanbar Entertainment are going back to the drawing board together: Duo said Tuesday they’ll team on a sequel to their current CG-animated release “Hoodwinked,” to be dubbed “Hood vs. Evil.”

News comes as “Hoodwinked,” an irreverent take on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, finished a hair behind Disney’s “Glory Road” for the top spot over the four-day holiday weekend.

Pic — the Weinstein Co.’s first animated venture, budgeted at less than $20 million — overcame lukewarm reviews to grab $16.9 million at the box office in its debut frame. Harvey Weinstein said that this time around, the pic’s producers will double the budget to improve animation, and that he spoke to the pic’s lead, Anne Hathaway, about returning while at the Golden Globes over the weekend.

“Our whole marketing team rose to the occasion,” said Harvey Weinstein about “Hoodwinked’s” perf. “For every rave, there was someone saying that the animation isn’t as great as Pixar, but the movie is funny and fun for kids and adults. We never would have been able to do this at Disney.”

New installment in the franchise will find a teen Red training in a distant land with a mysterious, covert group called Sisters of the Hood. She is then called upon by Nicky Flippers — head of the Happily Ever After Agency — who teams her with the Wolf to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel. The character of Granny, and the rest of the “Hoodwinked” gang, also return and are joined by new characters.

“Hoodwinked” also includes voice talent of Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson and rapper Xzibit. Producer Maurice Kanbar said he expects most of the cast to return.

“Hood vs. Evil” is being penned and directed by “Hoodwinked” creative troika Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech.

The Weinstein Co. will co-produce and co-finance the sequel, with Kanbar’s animation banner.

Kanbar and David K. Lovegren are serving as producers, and Eric Robinson will oversee for the Weinstein Co.

Producers said they are reviewing scripts for the new pic, which, like “Hoodwinked,” will be created in Manila. Weinstein added that he sees the franchise potentially going for two additional pics.

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