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Sony Animation taps Franck to direct toon

'Finding Nemo' co-writer Reynolds to pen script

Stephan Franck has been tapped to direct an untitled toon feature for Sony Pictures Animation.

David Reynolds, who co-wrote Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” will base the film on an original story by Franck.

Franck worked as a storyboard artist on “Despicable Me,” story artist on “How to Train Your Dragon” and supervising animator on “Iron Giant.”

Sony toon will be the first of four features to come out of a first-look deal that Gotham Group and Sony Animation inked in 2009. Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Peter McHugh and Eric Robinson, along with Karen Dufilho-Rosen, will exec produce.

“We are thrilled and excited to be making a movie at Sony Animation with Stephan directing and David, one of the funniest writers in the business,” Goldsmith-Vein said.

Sony Animation veep of development Alexa Amin will oversee the production for Sony.Up next for Sony Animation is toon hybrid “The Smurfs” on Aug. 3, followed by “Hotel Transylvania” on Sept. 21, 2012. The studio is partnering with Aardman Animations on “The Pirates!” and “Arthur Christmas,” set to bow Thanksgiving weekend next year.

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