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John Lasseter-run Skydance Animation units Apple film and TV deal

Apple has made a deal to launch motion pictures produced by Skydance Animation, the Skydance Media unit run by former Pixar and Walt Disney Animation head John Lasseter, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech big stated Wednesday.

As a part of “an expansive multi-year partnership” with Skydance Animation, Apple will launch upcoming motion pictures “Luck” and “Spellbound,” in addition to a sequence titled “The Search for WondLa,” primarily based on the youngsters’s fantasy e-book sequence by Tony DiTerlizzi. The pact will embody a number of extra sequence and movies to be introduced, the corporate stated in an announcement.

The deal comes after December stories that Apple was in talks to purchase “Luck” and “Spellbound,” which had been then arrange for launch by ViacomCBS’ Paramount Footage.

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Lasseter in 2019 joined Skydance Media, the Santa Monica leisure firm of Oracle Corp. scion David Ellison. Lasseter beforehand was chief artistic officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios however exited in 2018 after taking a go away of absence following allegations of inappropriate office conduct towards girls. On the time of his Skydance hiring, he expressed remorse for “how my actions unintentionally made colleagues uncomfortable.”

Amid an ensuing outcry, together with inside Paramount, Emma Thompson left her position as a voice actress on “Luck,” citing Lasseter’s hiring.

Lasseter and Ellison, the son of billionaire Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, are credited as producers on all Skydance Animation movies and government producers on the unit’s sequence.

Like different streamers combating for consideration, Apple TV+ wants extra content material to draw younger audiences as Disney+ and Netflix pour sources into increasing their on-line animation and family-friendly choices. Nickelodeon reveals are anticipated to be a key driver of audiences for Paramount+ when it launches subsequent month, rebranded from CBS All Entry.

Apple TV+ in December launched the current Golden Globe-nominated animated function “Wolfwalkers.” It additionally unleashed the live-action children TV sequence “Ghostwriter,” and Daytime Emmy-winning Peanuts cartoon “Snoopy in Space.”

Skydance, recognized for its hand within the “Mission: Impossible” and “Star Trek” movie franchises launched by Paramount, has bought a lot of its productions to streaming providers in the course of the pandemic whereas theatrical releases have been financially untenable for film studios’ big-budget movies.

Amazon in January was in talks to purchase the Chris Pratt-starring science-fiction movie “Tomorrow War” for a reported $200 million. Netflix in July purchased the rights to a Skydance action-adventure movie starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Shawn Levy.

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