×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘My Little Pony’ Movie in the Works at Hasbro Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

Film will join 'Jem and the Holograms' as the first to be produced through Allspark Pictures

Hasbro Studios has given the greenlight to a “My Little Pony” movie, with plans to release the animated film in 2017.

The film will join “Jem and the Holograms” as the first to be produced through Allspark Pictures, a new label through which the company will self-finance or pair up with other companies to co-finance a slate of film projects.

Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Prods. already is co-producing the live action “Jem,” with Universal Pictures co-financing the movie’s budget. The studio has dated the film for release on Oct. 23, 2015.

Hasbro Studios will take the reins of “My Little Pony,” producing and financing it inhouse. It is in discussion with studios to release the film “on the broadest possible number of screens,” said Stephen Davis, president of Hasbro Studios and global entertainment and licensing for Hasbro Inc. “We’re very excited about the potential of that movie.”

Joe Ballarini, who previously wrote “Atlantis 7” for Walden Media, 21 Laps and Gotham Group; “Lockdown at Franklin High” for Sony;  and was recently tapped to adapt the graphic novel “Cardboard” for Fox Animation; will pen the script for the “Pony” pic, while Megan McCarthy, who produces and has written for the series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and straight-to-homevideo “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls” films, will serve as co-executive producer on the theatrical movie. Ballarini is repped by Paradigm and Apostle.

Introduced in 1983 and developed by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D’Aguanno, the “My Little Pony” characters have colorful bodies, manes and distinguishing “cutie marks” on their flanks. The property has launched four animated series and been revamped over the years, enjoying strong sales in the 1980s and then again in 2010, with its popularity driven by well-received shows.

“Jem” is a musical fantasy that reimagines Jem amid the current hyperlinked social media era in a story of a small-town girl going from underground video sensation to global superstar with her three sisters.

Jon M. Chu directed from Ryan Landels’ script with Aubrey Peeples as the lead. Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also star.

Hasbro also is partners with Blumhouse on its next film, “Ouija,” out in theaters Oct. 24 through Universal. Stiles White directed the thriller that’s based on Hasbro’s game.

Hasbro has no plans to turn its back on big-budget franchises.

“We will continue to make big tentpole movies with our studio partners,” Davis said of franchises like “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe,” at Paramount, and “Monopoly” and “Candy Land” at Sony, “but there is another set of movies where we feel we have an opportunity to have a bit more control over the budgeting, financing, calendarization, marketing and creative of our films. There are new economic models that fit certain films.”

With “My Little Pony,” Hasbro already has produced direct-to-homevideo animated movies and is producing the 100th episode of the franchise’s current TV series that plays on kids cable channel Discovery Family, formerly the Hub, in the U.S., and in over 180 countries worldwide. The Hub switched to Discovery Family on Oct. 13.

“We have a lot of experience working on this particular brand,” and when it comes to producing the animation, technology has brought down costs to a level where it doesn’t need to spend $100 million or more to make the film. Hasbro declined to disclose the budget on the “Pony” pic.

“Film and TV is a key driver and very important part of the building blocks for a company like Hasbro,” Davis said. “It’s where we want to use great stories to activate our brands.”

Hasbro’s girls segment, which includes “My Little Pony,” “Nerf Rebelle” and other toy lines, saw sales increase 5% to $407.7 million during the company’s third quarter, whose results were announced Monday, during which overall revenue increased 7% to $1.47 billion.

For more on Hasbro’s film strategy, please see Tuesday’s edition of Variety.

More Biz

  • Streaming Placeholder

    TikTok Owner Preparing Streaming Service to Rival Spotify (Report)

    ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of the TikTok video app, is developing a paid streaming music service aimed at the same emerging markets that Spotify and Apple are seeking to explore, according to a report in Bloomberg. The app could be introduced as early as autumn, according to the report, which adds that the company has [...]

  • Stranger Things

    Coca-Cola Will Revive New Coke in Alliance With Netflix, 'Stranger Things'

    A rush of TV watchers to streaming video has prompted Coca-Cola to test an interesting pour. Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series “Stranger Things.” The third season of the series, set in 1985, will [...]

  • Doug Davis and Jodie ShihadehVariety Power

    Jodie Shihadeh Named Partner at The Davis Firm

    Jodie Shihadeh has been named Partner at The Davis Firm, PLLC. She joined the firm in 2011 and rose from associate to Managing Attorney and now partner. She graduated from Boston College and received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 2011. While still in law school she interned in the Business [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Nickelodeon Alum Keith Dawkins Sets Kidvid Partnership With Believe Entertainment Group

    Former Nickelodeon executive Keith Dawkins has partnered with Believe Entertainment Group to develop children’s programming. Dawkins will partner with Believe under his newly formed Rock Hill Media Ventures, which aims to advise companies in media, entertainment and sports on working with diverse and emerging talent. Dawkins previously spent 17 years at Viacom, most of which [...]

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    CBS Credit Union Manager Pleads Guilty to $40 Million Fraud

    The manager of a credit union for CBS employees pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court on Monday to a $40 million embezzlement scheme. Edward Rostohar, 62, was arrested in March after the scheme began to unravel. According to prosecutors, he admitted to stealing money from the bank for the last 20 years. Rostohar is [...]

  • Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The

    CAA's Packaging Fee Becomes Flashpoint in 'Walking Dead' Litigation

    The issue that is at the heart of the WGA’s present standoff with talent agencies has flared up as a source of tension in the litigation between AMC Networks and Frank Darabont and CAA over profit participation on “The Walking Dead.” The practice of talent agencies receiving packaging fees for helping to assemble the creative [...]

  • Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’

    Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’ Data, Royalty Payments to Artists

    Sony Music today announced two new payment features for its artists — “Real Time Royalties” and “Cash Out” — through its artist portal beginning this fall. 

A memo sent to artists Monday morning and obtained by Variety says  the initiatives will “allow our artists and royalty participants to view and withdraw earnings faster than ever [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content