SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Skydance Media has taken a significant step in the formation of its animation business by securing award-winning directors for its first two animated feature films. Vicky Jenson, who directed the Academy Award®-winning Shrek with Andrew Adamson, will helm Split (working title) and Alessandro Carloni, who directed Kung Fu Panda 3 with Jennifer Yuh Nelson, will direct Luck. Skydance plans to release both films under its newly-formed animation label in partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios.
“Vicky and Alessandro have played instrumental roles in bringing to life some of the most beloved animated franchises of all time and it is my pleasure to welcome them both into the Skydance family,” said Skydance’s Chief Executive Officer, David Ellison. “We are fortunate that – together with Linda Woolverton on Split and Aibel & Berger on Luck – we now have such prolific creative firepower at the center of Skydance’s first two feature endeavors in animation.”
Split tells the story of Elian, a teenager who comes of age using her magical powers to defend her family when the opposing forces of light and darkness threaten to divide her kingdom. It is being written by Linda Woolverton (Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King), who will also serve as a producer on the film.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to take the lead on Split alongside the brilliant and accomplished Linda Woolverton to help bring a wholly original animated adventure to the big screen with Skydance,” said Jenson. “The concept of Split is wonderfully inventive but at its core are themes so human and universal it is a story you feel as much as experince and one I believe all audiences will take with them.”
Luck is a comedy that pulls back the curtain on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affects our daily lives. Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (The Kung Fu Panda trilogy, Trolls) are writing the script and will serve as producers on the film.
"Some people have all the Luck and I'm incredibly thankful to join the creative team at Skydance and take a leadership role on this special project!" Added Carloni. "I had an absolutely wonderful experience working with Jon and Glenn dating back to the first time I met them over a decade ago on the original Kung Fu Panda and I can’t wait to reunite with them to bring Luck to life at Skydance."
David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Ilion’s Ignacio Pérez Dolset and Jose F San Román will serve as producers on both films.
Vicky Jenson’s cross-discipline career extends from animation to live action, television to feature films, shorts, and commercial work. Her feature directorial debut was on the Academy Award®-winning Shrek with Andrew Adamson. While directing the Academy Award®-nominated Shark Tale with Bibo Bergeron and Rob Letterman, she also shot her live action directorial debut short, Family Tree. The short premiered at Sundance and screened at festivals worldwide, including SXSW, Aspen, Edinburgh, and Melbourne, winning a number of awards. Jenson then directed her first live-action comedy, Post Grad, for Montecito Pictures and Fox Searchlight. Jenson has served in design and art direction roles on projects including The Ren and Stimpy Show and as production designer on both live action and animated features.
Also a veteran of DreamWorks Animation, Carloni most recently served as director with Jennifer Yuh Nelson on Kung Fu Panda 3. He served as head of story on the first two How to Train Your Dragon films and worked at the studio in a number of capacities, including supervising animator and story artist on the Academy Award®-nominated Kung Fu Panda. He joined DreamWorks Animation in 2002, bringing with him a wide array of experience within both animation and live action, creating feature and short animated films as well as commercials and music videos. Throughout his career Carloni has served as an animator, co-director, animation director, sculptor, special effects supervisor, storyboard and visual development artist, and designer.
Both Jenson and Carloni are repped by Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman. Jenson is also repped by William Morris Endeavor and Carloni by United Talent Agency.
About Skydance Media
Skydance is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create high quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company brings to life stories of immersive worlds across its feature film, television, and interactive platforms. Its feature films include LIFE, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Star Trek Beyond, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Terminator Genisys, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Jack Reacher, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and True Grit. Skydance’s next feature film to release is Geostorm on October 20th. In 2017, Skydance formed an animation division to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television series in partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios. Skydance Television launched in 2013. Its current slate includes Emmy-nominated Grace and Frankie on Netflix, Altered Carbon on Netflix, Jack Ryan on Amazon, Condor on AT&T Audience Network, Ten Days in the Valley on ABC, and Dietland on AMC. Skydance Interactive launched in 2016 to create and publish original and IP-based virtual reality experiences and video games. Skydance Interactive recently debuted its first original title – Archangel, a story-driven VR shooter.
About Ilion Animation Studios
Ilion Animation Studios, based in Madrid, creates state-of-the-art computer animated movies for worldwide theatrical release. Established in 2002, Ilion today is lead creatively by Ignacio Pérez Dolset and managed on a day-to-day basis by Jose F San Román. The studio uses purpose-built cutting-edge technology to achieve a unique visual animation experience. Ilion’s first computer generated animation feature was Planet 51, released in 2009 by Sony in the U.S. on over 3,500 screens and subsequently in over 65 countries across the world. The second animated feature film produced by the studio was Mortadelo y Filemón, based on the most successful comic ever in Spain, and released by Warner Bros in 2014. Today, in addition to having already started pre-production work on both Split and Luck, Ilion is about to finalize production of the animated feature film Amusement Park for Paramount Pictures, scheduled for release globally on August 10, 2018. The studio is a proud partner of U-tad, the first official-degree European university focused purely on the world of digital arts and technology with a current student intake of over 1,200 individuals.