AFM: Bob Weinstein Unveils Furby Movie for TWC-Dimension

Furby
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Bob Weinstein has unveiled an ambitious slate of five films for TWC-Dimension label — including a movie based on Hasbro’s Furby toy line.

“I’m rolling the dice and playing for hits,” Weinstein said in the early evening presentation at Casa De Mar before about 100 buyers at the American Film Market. All five projects have completed scripts.

It was the first announcement about the Furby movie. Hasbro executives Stephen Davis and Josh Feldman told the audience that the Furby film will be a live-action and CGI hybrid.

Furbys, the owl-like robotic toys with speaking capabilities in dozens of languages, caught on in the late 1990s. Davis, the company’s chief content officer, and Feldman noted that Hasbro has already seen significant success in Hollywood with the Transformers and Ouija franchises. Daniel Persitz and Devon Kliger wrote the spec that was sold to TWC.

“We think that this can resonate as a four-quadrant film,” Davis said. “It can’t just by a 90-minute commercial.”

There’s no director attached to the project as yet but Feldman evoked a laugh by quipping, “We’re out to David Fincher.”

TWC-Dimension has not had a success since last year’s “Paddington.” Bob Weinstein noted that TWC-Dimension is best known for fare aimed at mainstream global audiences such as the “Scream” and “Spy Kids” franchises while brother Harvey is in charge of the “risk-taking” projects through The Weinstein Company. He credited TWC President David Glasser with advising him to change course by focusing on fewer movies with bigger budgets.

“In the past, I was producing and releasing between seven and eight films a year and the quality suffered,” Weinstein added. “Going forward, I decided on bringing my productions to three or four year at the most. I’ve also decided to make them bigger budgets, more director and star driven but still with the idea of creating franchises of a bigger nature.”

Mark Wahlberg followed with an enthusiastic endorsement of the upcoming “Six Billion Dollar Man” with  director Damián Szifrón (“Wild Things”). Wahlberg previously worked with TWC on “The Fighter.”

He asserted that he’s not interested in most superhero projects. “I don’t care what it is, how much I’m getting paid, I’m not leaving my trailer in a cape,” Wahlberg said.

Director Lars Klevberg and producer Roy Lee touted “Polaroid,” based on Klevberg’s short film about a Polaroid camera that murders those who come in contact with it. Lee, who helped develop “The Ring” and “The Grudge” franchises, asserted that “Polaroid” will be a franchise starter — and a very scary movie.

Tim Hill made a presentation about the upcoming Robert De Niro comedy “The War with Grandpa,” in which a boy is forced to move out of his room when his recently widowed grandfather moves in. With the help of his friends, the boy devises outrageous pranks to make his grandfather surrender the room — but he turns out to be tougher than expected and all-out war ensues.

Christopher Walken and Eugene Levy have come on board to play the friends of De Niro’s character. “We are down to two kids; we’ll be shooting eight weeks starting in February in sunny Toronto,” Hill said.

Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”) made a presentation about “Murder Mystery,” a story about an American couple in Europe who get caught up in murder mystery. She said the cast would have a strong international appeal and listed Helen Mirren, Eugenio Derbez, Colin Farrell, Jean Dujardin and Til Schweiger.

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