As reported yesterday morning, Shaun the Sheep Movie wasn’t exactly a (financial) hit for Lionsgate, a studio that already carries a spotty record with animated releases. Its next animated release, Norm of the North, isn’t instilling much hope either. But perhaps a very popular toy franchise can turn that around.
After we confirmed its development last October, Deadline recently reported that Hasbro’s animated My Little Pony feature film has landed at Lionsgate. Jon Feltheimer, Lionsgate’s CEO, confirmed this to analysts last Friday.
My Little Pony will be the second project from Hasbro to be set up at Lionsgate, following the long-gestating adaptation of Monopoly. It will also be the first animated feature production from Allspark Pictures, Hasbro’s self-financed production arm.
Feltheimer also confirmed that the film is “currently in production”. If that wasn’t enough, he also dropped this surprise: Kristen Chenoweth, fresh off a turn as Maleficent on Disney Channel’s Descendants, will “voice an all new My Little Pony character in the film.”
Expect Lionsgate to bet very heavily on the My Little Pony film as a potential animated franchise starter for the studio. The CEO even says as much when he noted that this and Monopoly will be “repeatable franchises.”
Joe Ballarini is penning the screenplay, while My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic writer and producer Megan McCarthy will serve as co-executive producer. The film has yet to lock down a director, with Friendship is Magic creator Lauren Faust clearly out of the question as she’s directing Medusa for Sony Pictures Animation.
The film is currently set for an unspecified 2017 release window.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to a feature-length My Little Pony animated film?
Edited by: Kelly Conley