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Open Road Joins ‘Playmobil’ Animated Movie

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the animated feature film “Playmobil,” based on the German toy line, and set a Jan. 18, 2019, release date.

Playmobil” will be directed by Disney veteran Lino DiSalvo and produced by the team behind “The Little Prince” (Aton Soumache, Dimitri Rassam, Alexis Vonarb) along with Axel Von Maydell and Moritz Borman.

The project was developed in cooperation with Pathé France and will be sold internationally by Lionsgate and Wild Bunch.

Playmobil toys are produced by the Brandstätter Group in Germany. A wide range of accessories, buildings, vehicles and animals are also part of the Playmobil line with over 2.9 billion figurines produced in more than 100 countries.

The move comes two years after Warner Bros. saw an outsize success from “The Lego Movie,” based on the Danish toy line, with over $460 million in worldwide grosses. Three more Lego movies are coming from the studio.

DiSalvo will make his directorial debut on “Playmobil,” after 17 years at Disney Animation. He served as head of animation on “Frozen” and as animation supervisor on “Tangled” and “Bolt.”

Disney veteran Blaise Hemingway is writing the screenplay.

“The creative team behind ‘Playmobil’ has crafted a wildly inventive, hilarious and heart-warming story that is certain to be exciting for the whole family,” said Open Road chief Tom Ortenberg. “We are thrilled to get to work – or should I say ‘play?’ – with Lino and his team.”

“‘Playmobil’ has conquered children’s hearts worldwide, growing beyond cultural and language barriers,” said  Borman. “Animation is the perfect medium to pay tribute to this cult toy and we’re very excited to launch this franchise with Open Road.”

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Sophie Cassidy, with CAA and Barry Hirsch acting for the producers.

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