Betty Boop is returning to the big screen, with Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic Entertainment developing and producing the first feature-length film for the feisty cartoon flapper.
The project has been in the works for several months with Fleischer Studios, owner of the Betty Boop charater, partnering with Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic — which performed the animation for “The Lego Movie” — on a music-driven hybrid animated comedy.
Producers are Zareh Nalbandian and Jason Lust from Animal Logic and Cowell and Adam Milano from Syco. No writer or director is attached yet.
Betty Boop first appeared in 1930 and made numerous appearances in Max Fleischer’s “Talkartoons” and her own cartoon series as a fun-loving, flirtatious character with a signature line “Boop-oop-a-doop!”
The bobbed-hair, short-skirted character became the first female animated star at the end of the Roaring ’20s.
Betty Boop appeared in over 100 cartoons and had been extensively licensed through King Features in collaborations with Lancome, Coca-Cola, NASCAR, Uniqlo and Chupa Chups. Her last movie appearance was a cameo in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in 1988.
Cowell, who has a first-look deal with Sony Pictures, is best known as a TV producer of “American Idol” and “The X Factor.” He’s produced feature films “One Direction” and “One Chance” for Sony.
“Betty is an icon, and one of the biggest stars in the world – I’m thrilled to be working with her,” Cowell said. “Betty, I’ve worked with some serious divas but I think you could be the biggest of them all!”
“I am delighted to partner with Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic,” said Mark Fleischer, chairman and CEO of Fleischer Studios. “Their energy, creativity and playfulness make them a perfect fit for Betty Boop.”
Jason Lust from Animal Logic said, “I’ve been trying to get Betty to the dance for years now. Can’t believe she’s finally said ‘Yes.’”
CAA, representing Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic, brokered the deal with King Features Syndicate representing Fleischer Studios.
The character currently has nearly 200 licensees in the United States and nearly twice as many internationally.
Besides “The Lego Movie,” Animal Logic’s credits include “Happy Feet,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “300,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Iron Man 3.” It has studios in both Sydney and Los Angeles.
Syco’s assets include the Syco Music label, home to Labrinth, Susan Boyle, One Direction, Sam Bailey, Little Mix, Il Divo and Fifth Harmony. Syco’s Television assets include the franchises “The X Factor” and “Got Talent.”
Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic recently announced a partnership to create music-based animated and hybrid animation-live action films with their first project, set for release in 2016, being developed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.