In a milestone deal for Spanish animation, Paramount Pictures has inked worldwide distribution on both space fantasy adventure “Capture the Flag” and a second installment to 2012’s “Tad, the Lost Explorer.”
A co-producer and cornerstone financier of a string of high-profile Spanish international hits – “The Orphanage,” “The Impossible,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Agora,” for instance – Mediaset Espana’s Telecinco Cinema is re-teaming to produce both films with most of the other members of the original “Tad” production team in Spain: Telco production arm Telefonica Studios – an ever-larger force in film/TV production in Spain and Argentina, backing this year and last 2014 Cannes competition player “Wild Tales,” Juan Jose Campanella’s “Foosball” and Alejandro Amenabar’s “Regression” – and producers Jordi Gasull, “Capture the Flag’s” creator and co-screenwriter, plus Edmon Roch and Nico Matji.
Animation on both titles is being carried out at Matji’s Lightbox Entertainment toon studio in Madrid. “Capture the Flag” is scheduled for a summer 2015 release, “Tad Jones: The Hero Returns” for 2016.
Los Rockets AIE, a production company tapping in to Spanish tax breaks, also co-produces both movies.
Hollywood studios often take distribution rights in Spain to local Spanish films. They occasionally score multi-territory deals. What is so unusual about the new Paramount-“Capture”/”Tad 2” deal is that it includes two movies not one and is made with a clear intention to tap into their market potential not only inside but also beyond Spain.
That goes with the territory. Turning on Tad, a humble Spanish bricklayer who by chance gets the opportunity to fulfill his life-dream of becoming an adventurer archeologist in Peru, “Tad the Lost Explorer” grossed €18.0 million ($24,4 million) in Spain, thanks in part to Mediaset Espana’s muscular marketing across its multi TV channels, and over $36 million abroad, topping box office charts in multiple South American territories.
“We are very pleased to once again participate with Mediaset Spain, Telefónica Studios and their partners in two upcoming animation releases. Paramount has a long history of launching animated films worldwide and is looking forward to this new partnership opportunity”, said Anthony Marcoly, Paramount president, international film distribution.
“After the national and international success of our first foray into animation with ‘Tad, the Lost Explorer.’ what better partnership than that of the ambitious production company Telecinco Cinema and the long-established and successful distributor Paramount Pictures”, said Ghislain Barrois, Telecinco Cinema CEO.
For Gabriel Arias-Salgado, managing director of Telefonica Studios, the deal is “a big step forward for Spanish cinema.”
David Alonso is co-directing “Tad Jones: The Hero Returns” from a screenplay by Gasull, Javier Barreira and Neil Landau.
Story details for the “Tad” follow-up are still to be announced. Those for “Capture,” which turns on man’s return to the moon, are much clearer.
The Paramount deal was announced not by chance on Sunday, the eve of the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing. An attempt to regain the excitement of the original space race, “Capture the Flag” turns on the dastardly plans of a billionaire to lay claim to the source of clean energy of the future, Hellum 3, by obliterating evidence of the original Apollo X1 moon mission, such as the flag planted on the moon in 1969.
The only people who get the chance to stop him are a cheerful headstrong 12-year-old surfer, Mike, his buddies – Marty the geek, future journalist Amy and a little lizard which aspires to be the next Godzilla – and his grandfather, once an astronaut and now estranged from his family.
“Capture the Flag” “is designed to reawaken for us the dream of space of the man who first set foot on the moon, and take today’s generations there and beyond, in search of adventure, excitement and fun,” said Gasull.