The companies say that the deal is valued at $250 million, making it the biggest animation film cooperation in Asia, and the first ever China-Singapore-Thailand animation co-production.
Wings Media is part of Oriental Pearl Group and a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s 2nd largest media group, Shanghai Media Group.
Despite insistence that the films are intended for theatrical release, the announcement was made at the Mipcom TV market in Cannes. The partners have not yet decided international distribution strategies or channels. “Shellhut and Tiny Island Pictures’ next step will be to talk with American and European partners,” said David Kwok, Tiny Island CEO.
“Dream Defenders,” the first film produced by the joint venture will integrate Wings Media’s sci-fi centric hit reality TV series Starship MZ: 2049 with Tiny Island Productions’ award-winning animated series, Dream Defenders. It is expected to be completed for release in 2020.
Other films will flow from the deal on a roughly annual basis. “The long term goal will be to build China’s own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will entertain audiences worldwide,” the companies said in a statement.
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Shellhut and Tiny Island had previously partnered to produce Shellhut Entertainment’s hit animated TV series project Shelldon. Intellectual property from the new films will be used to build theme parks in Thailand. “We are dedicated to searching the globe for the best film and television content,” said Dr. Jwanwat (Tan) Ahriyavraromp, CEO of Shellhut.
An international team of animation veterans will be assembled to lead the development and production of the films, led by director Paul Chung (“Shrek,” “The Jungle Book,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”).
“This collaboration will bring together sci-fi from China and the rest of the world,” said Shelan He, VP of Oriental Pearl, and president of Wings Media. “The co-produced films will showcase the best of China’s culture, as well as expose China’s audiences to the multi-cultural characteristics of Singapore and Thailand.”