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‘Talking Tom’ in Development as Live Action-Animated Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

A “Talking Tom and Friends” movie may be heading to the multiplex as developer Outfit7 teams with “Assassin’s Creed” producer Jean-Julien Baronnet to adapt the mobile app into a feature film.

Talking Tom,” a wisecracking cat that responds to gestures made on smartphone or tablet screens, was first introduced eight years ago. The family friendly game has more than 8 billion downloads and 350 million monthly active users of its games. An animated web series “Talking Tom and Friends” began airing in 2015.

Boris Dolenc, chief product officer for Outfit7, told Variety that the themes of friendship, listening, and tolerance have resonated with gamers.

“As one of the most globally-renowned and fastest-growing entertainment companies in the world, we have envisioned a 360-degree strategy that spans far beyond topping the mobile game charts,” he added. “To date, this includes the internationally-praised CGI-animated ‘Talking Tom and Friends’ series, strategic partnership on licensing with Alibaba and indoor Talking Tom amusement parks in China, and the upcoming launch of its latest mobile game studio in Barcelona next year. A feature film is the natural next step for Tom.”

The company has enlisted the expertise of Baronnet, who also is the producer of the “Rabbids Invasion” television series and former CEO of both EuropaCorp and Ubisoft Motion Pictures. He also founded Marla Studios, which specializes in adapting video games to movies.

“The Talking Tom movie will be a high-content, hybrid family film, featuring both digital characters and real-life actors, and it will touch on all of the important themes that have become synonymous with the Talking Tom brand: tolerance, adventure, humor, and of course, friendship,” said Baronnet.

Sony saw success by adapting Rovio’s “Angry Birds” app into an animated movie in 2016 with $350 million in worldwide grosses and a sequel set for 2019.

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