David Ellison’s Skydance Media has launched an animation division and formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios to develop and produce a slate of animated feature films and TV series.
The slate will commence with two animated feature films currently in development, to be produced in Spain. The first, which will be released in 2019, is being written by animation veteran Linda Woolverton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King”), and tells the story of Elian, a teenager who comes of age using her magical powers to defend her family when opposing forces of light and darkness threaten to divide her kingdom.
Woolverton will serve as a producer on the film alongside Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Ilion’s Ignacio Pérez Dolset and Jose F San Román. The second animated feature film, which has the working title “Luck,” is a comedy that pulls back the curtain on battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affect
our daily lives.
Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (The “Kung Fu Panda trilogy,” “Trolls”) are writing the script.
“It is incredibly gratifying to see one of my deepest passions come to life as we enter the animation business with Ilion,” said David Ellison. “Together we aim to bring together the most creative visionaries, the best-in-class production skills, and the highest degree of technological innovation in the service of great stories.”
Skydance has played a key role in co-financing the Paramount slate since its launch in 2010, including “True Grit,” “World War Z,” “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.” Since its inception, Skydance has produced 12 feature films, which have cumulatively grossed over $4.3 billion in worldwide box office.
The upcoming Skydance slate includes Sony’s sci-fier “Life,” which is closing SXSW on Saturday and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, along with Dwayne Johnson’s “Baywatch,” which Paramount opens May 26. It’s also joined forces with Alibaba to produce the “Flying Tigers” feature film with Randall Wallace writing.
Skydance Television series include “Grace and Frankie” and “Altered Carbon” on Netflix, “Jack Ryan” on Amazon, “Condor” on DirecTV, “Ten Days in the Valley” on ABC, and “Dietland” on AMC. It also acquired game developer The Workshop and launched Skydance Interactive and is launching original VR Game Archangel, which comes to market across all platforms in July.
David Ellison is the son of Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison and the brother of Annapurna Pictures chief Megan Ellison.