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‘Shrek’ Producer John Williams Partners With Riverstone Pictures

Veteran animation producer John Williams (“Shrek”) is partnering with Riverstone Pictures on a slate of animated films to be budgeted in the $15 million to $20 million range, the company announced Wednesday in Cannes. The first two projects have already been greenlit.

The slate will be co-produced by Riverstone co-founder Deepak Nayar’s Kintop Pictures and Williams’ Vanguard Entertainment. The first two projects under the new partnership will be “Goose Chase” and “The Silk Road Rally,” both directed by “Charming” helmer Ross Venokur. Venokur also handled Vanguard’s 2015 title “Get Squirrely.”

Williams produced DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek,” which received the first Oscar awarded for animated film as its own category in 2001. He went on to produce sequel “Shrek 2,” and executive produce later sequels “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After,” as well as co-executive-producing spinoff “Puss in Boots” for DreamWorks.

He has since gone on to produce independent animated projects including “Valiant,” “Happily N’Ever After” and “Space Chimps” through Vanguard Animation. Williams and Vanguard’s most recent productions, “Gnome Alone” (pictured) and “Charming,” are in international release.

Riverstone was founded in 2014 by Nayar and Nik Bower. The company most recently produced live-action family comedy “Show Dogs,” which is due for U.S. release May 18 by Global Road Entertainment.

“I have had a fantastic experience working with Deepak, and I am thrilled to be setting this slate together with him and Nik,” Williams said of the new partnership.

Set in the world of nursery-rhyme characters, “Goose Chase” sees the world’s worst treasure hunters, Simple Simon and Wee Willy Winkie, embark on a mission to find legendary golden eggs in an attempt to save their world and win the heart of Little Bo Peep.

“The Silk Road Rally” features a cast of characters competing in a high-stakes, no-holds-barred car race along the famous Silk Road trade route. Peter Seaman will co-produce. Other projects in development include “Genetapets,” about a 13-year-old girl who fights crime with the aid of her unique pets, “Alien Rock Band,” “Zorgamazoo,” and “Brobots.”

Riverstone is currently in post-production on a number of films, including Michael Winterbottom’s “The Wedding Guest,” starring Dev Patel; Ron Scalpello’s “The Corrupted,” starring Sam Claflin; Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum,” starring Matthew McConaughey; and Julian Schnabel’s Vincent van Gogh biopic “At Eternity’s Gate,” starring Willem Dafoe. Riverstone is owned by Reliance Entertainment.

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