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Warner Bros Pictures Animation Inks First-Look Deal With Locksmith Animation

First Pics Are ‘Bad Fairies’ & ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ - Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group has signed a first-look deal with London- and Los Angeles-based Locksmith Animation to develop and produce animated features for worldwide distribution.

Locksmith is an independent producer of animated features and series and was behind the 20th Century Studios feature Ron’s Gone Wrong. That pic was released theatrically and on Disney+ in 2021.

The first of Locksmith’s two properties being developed under the new deal is Bad Fairies, a subversive musical comedy set in contemporary London. It focuses on a badass gang of fairies who break every rule in the book. Deborah Frances-White, creator and host of podcast The Guilty Feminist, is writing the screenplay. Megan Nicole Dong, creator and director of Netflix’s animated musical series Centaurworld, is attached to direct.

The second project is The Lunar Chronicles, based on Marissa Meyer’s bestselling novels. A sci-fi twist on Grimms’ Fairy Tales, the feature project centers on four young women who launch a rebellion against the tyrannical Queen of the moon and soar through the stars while fighting to take charge of their own destinies. Kalen Egan & Travis Sentell, writers on the Amazon series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, are attached to write. Noëlle Raffaele, director of DC Superhero Girls and story artist for The Lego Ninjago Movie and Marvel Studios’ upcoming The Marvels, is attached to helm.

Locksmith is currently in production on its second feature film That Christmas, written by Richard Curtis (Love, Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral), to be released on Netflix

The new deal is part of Warner Bros’ comprehensive strategy to revitalize its approach to animated features through key partnerships, creative development, and quality storytelling. Under terms of the pact, the Locksmith team – led by Julie Lockhart, founder and president of production; Natalie Fischer, CEO; and Mary Coleman, chief creative officer – will work with Warner Bros Pictures Animation president Bill Damaschke and his team to advance a fresh, innovative approach to the Burbank, CA studio’s legacy IP while also developing and producing original features.

“Animation is deeply ingrained in Warner Bros’ creative DNA, so we’re really excited to dive in with the team at Locksmith, who bring a fresh sensibility and aesthetic to this seminal art form,” said Warner Bros Motion Picture co-chairs and co-CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy.

Damaschke added, “The artists and storytellers at Locksmith Animation are among the most inspired and inventive in the industry. I’m looking forward to working with them on an array of projects – beginning with Bad Fairies and The Lunar Chronicles – and drawing on the unparalleled resources here at Warner Bros, as well as original stories dreamed up by their remarkable creative team.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the visionary team at Warner Bros to create franchises that will entertain and move family audiences worldwide,” said Fischer. “With a celebrated history in animation and a commitment to the theatrical experience, Warner Bros is the perfect home for us.”

Locksmith Animation is part of the Sister group of companies, founded by Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone.


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