×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

STX Entertainment Plans Uglydoll Film, Launches Family Division (EXCLUSIVE)

STX Entertainment will launch a family and animation division aimed at creating entertainment for film, television and digital platforms, Variety has learned.

The studio’s first project will be an animated feature based on popular toy line Uglydoll. It plans to explore future projects with Pretty Ugly LLC, the toy company behind the cuddly critters, in gaming, television and other arenas.

The toys subvert the idea of ugly by turning the adjective into a positive, and include distinct and unconventionally cute characters such as Wage, Babo, Ice-Bat and Wedgehead. Uglydoll was created in 2001 after David Horvath signed a letter to his college sweetheart, Sun-Min Kim, with a drawing of an oddly proportioned monster. Partnering with co-creator Drew Matilsky, the couple built the characters into an award winning line of children’s products.

“We created Uglydoll on the premise that real beauty is found in the little twists and turns that make us who we are,” said Horvath in a statement. “We could not be more excited or optimistic about the future of the Uglydoll universe in the hands of the STX Entertainment team.”

He lauded the studio for understanding what made the characters “distinctive and relatable” and said he was confident they would maintain the characters’ “integrity.”

STX Entertainment was launched last year by producer Robert Simonds with the goal of fielding 12 to 15 films a year, with budgets ranging from $20 million to $80 million. Upcoming releases include the psychological thriller “The Gift” with Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton; “The Secret in Their Eyes,” a remake of the Oscar-winning Argentinian film of the same name to star Julia Roberts; and “The Free State of Jones,” an action-drama starring Matthew McConaughey.

This marks the studio’s first foray into the family space. The company was partly drawn to the toy line because it has global recognition and is popular in Asia, one of the strongest markets for film.

The film will be produced by STX. Gigi Pritzker and OddLot will co-produce, and Horvath and Matilsky will executive produce on behalf of Pretty Ugly LLC.

“The creative vision behind these dolls is extremely detailed and very rich for storytelling across many platforms,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of the motion picture group for STX Entertainment, in a statement. “The moment you see these characters, you get their whole world immediately. They are endearing yet fundamentally flawed in some real and identifiable way. That’s what makes them so relatable. Kids and adults love these characters because we all can understand the challenges and triumphs of being different.”

At one point, Uglydoll had planned to make an animated feature film with Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment. That animation company has a financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, which Fogelson previously oversaw as its film chief.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content