DreamWorks' Chinese-backed division has unveiled a slate of upcoming films from a varied slate of creatives. While Pixar generally gets credit for emotional and entertaining CGI films, DreamWorks Animation has spent the past decade and a half creating a number of successful franchises. From Shrek to Madagascar, they've spun out multiple films and spinoffs for some of their biggest properties.
Along with its new Netflix series, How to Train Your Dragon will be getting a third film soon. Meanwhile, Croods 2 is back in development after being stalled for a number of years. DreamWorks is also still basking in the success of last year's Kung Fu Panda 3, which netted them $521 million globally. The film was also the first to be animated co-production between China and the U.S., a relationship the studio is now capitalizing on.
Deadline is reporting that the new imprint Oriental DreamWorks has added Peilin Chou as CCO to announce its arrival. The new studio has also released a large slate of upcoming films. While many are still in the works, 2019 will see Everest head to the big screen. The Yeti-focused film will be directed by Tim Johnson and Todd Wilderman - CGI animation veterans who are also working on How to Train Your Dragon 3. You can check out the rest of the film slate below:
• Over The Moon: A modern-day retelling of the classic Chinese myth about mysterious moon goddess Chang’e; written by Audrey Wells (A Dog’s Purpose, George Of The Jungle), it’s executive produced by Janet Yang, whose credits include Joy Luck Club and The People Vs Larry Flynt.
• Untitled Chinatown Project: Action comedy with supernatural elements from Master Of None co-creator and exec producer Alan Yang.
• The Monkey King: An epic adventure featuring China’s most enduring superhero; written by Ron Friedman & Steve Bencich (Brother Bear, Chicken Little).
• Illumikitty: An irreverent comedy about a feline plot for world domination; written by Jenny Bicks (Rio 2, Sex And The City).
• Lucky: Buddy comedy about Chinese superstition and the battle between good luck and bad luck; Rita Hsiao (Mulan, Toy Story 2) is writing.
With Oriental DreamWorks focusing on international audiences and China specifically, the results offer an interesting slate of films. Several traditional Chinese tales will be told, including that of the Monkey King, one of the most adapted works in the country's history. The creatives involved are also intriguing in their own right, with writers who hale from a variety of different backgrounds.
The most intriguing project may be the one from Alan Yang. As a co-creator and writer on Master of None, Yang has been making quite a name for himself in the past few years. Given the adult focus of his and Aziz Ansari's Netflix show, it will be interesting to see what he brings to a family-friendly series. With a knack for the human experience and life in the big city, Yang's comedy skills should produce a captivating new film for the studio.