Oscar-winning filmmaker Rodney Rothman (“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse”) and former MGM co-president of production Adam Rosenberg have teamed up to launch the new “event entertainment” company, Modern Magic.
“Helping lead the team that made ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ was a life-altering experience that forever changed what I thought was possible,” Rothman said, announcing the new venture. “We’ve started Modern Magic to keep going and see what else a motivated, ragtag group of artists can accomplish when they take the leap.”
The new entertainment company is focused on creating innovative animated and live-action “event entertainment” for the 21st-century audience and partnering with a diverse group of creatives, ranging from world-class artists, writers, directors, musicians and technicians to the next class of breakthrough creatives.
“Commercially, we see a worldwide animation audience that understands it is a medium for smart, great, limitless, multi-genre storytelling, and, as ‘Spider-Verse’ proved, doesn’t need to be confined to the kid and family audience or a 30-minute sitcom,” Rothman continued. “There’s a massive audience looking to see every boundary pushed; for that audience, anything is possible. It doesn’t have to look real as long as it feels real. And we know from experience how excited the creative community is about the opportunity to explore new mediums to express the emotion, artistry and humanity critical to 21st-century storytelling.”
“When it comes to animation, we don’t see ourselves as fortune tellers. We see ourselves as recognizing where we already are,” Rosenberg added. “Animation is a major source of creative and commercial growth, it easily travels around the world, and it is a driving force behind artistic breakthroughs in every medium. Our projects are designed to sit at the intersection of entertainment, culture, and technology, and what we do in animation feeds into our distinct take on live action.”
Modern Magic currently has 20 feature films and TV series in various stages of development, including feature films and TV series.
A few highlights from the company’s upcoming slate are:
An original animated feature inspired by the music of the late rapper Juice WRLD, written by Jaboukie Young-White.
Modern Magic will produce the project in conjunction with executive producers John Janick, Steve Berman and Tony Seyler on behalf of Interscope Films. Carmela Wallace, Peter Jideonwo and Lil Bibby will represent Juice WRLD’s estate.
“Nuevo Rico,” an animated feature based on the SXSW award-winning short film by Kris Mercado.
Set in a psychedelic future version of Puerto Rico, a brother and sister stumble upon a secret that propels them to Reggaetón stardom, but they soon discover that their newfound fame comes at a deep price.
An offbeat, subversive live action-comedy feature written Quinta Brunson for Sony Pictures.
Before partnering for Modern Magic, Rothman and Rosenberg have each found great success in the industry.
Rosenberg most recently served as co-president of production for MGM’s worldwide motion picture group, overseeing feature film development and production and projects including “Creed” and “Creed 2;” the upcoming “Candyman” (from Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele) and the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” directed by Liesl Tommy and starring Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker.
His credits also include “Bad Trip,” starring Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish; Antoine Fuqua’s “The Magnificent Seven,” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt; and Dwayne Johnson’s “Fighting With My Family” and “Hercules.” Rosenberg is also an executive producer on the Sylvester Stallone-starring film “Samaritan,” and the upcoming “Creed 3.”
Rothman most recently co-wrote and co-directed the best animated feature Oscar winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” He also served as a producer and writer on “22 Jump Street,” “The Five-Year Engagement,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Popstar” and “Get Him to the Greek.”
His television credits include working as head writer at “The Late Show With David Letterman,” where he was nominated for five Emmy Awards for writing, and helped the show win three Emmys for outstanding variety, comedy or musical program. Rothman is also the author of the best-selling nonfiction humor book “Early Bird.”
Outside of Modern Magic, Rothman wrote and is attached to direct the upcoming “24 Jump Street.” “It’s the next movie in the ‘Jump Street’ franchise,” he explained. “but it’s taken us so long to pull together we decided to skip over ’23 Jump Street’ and pick up the story one movie later.”
Modern Magic is repped by UTA; Rothman is also repped by Ziffren Brittenham and Adam Rosenberg by McKuin Frankel Whitehead. The new company is headquartered in Los Angeles.