LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - New Line is venturing into the animation business for the first time in its 40-year history by acquiring Ilion Animation Studios’ $60 million feature “Planet 51” from Handmade Films International.
Written by Joe Stillman (“Shrek”), the story is set on a planet whose inhabitants live in fear of an alien invasion. Their paranoia is realized when astronaut Capt. Charles “Chuck” Baker arrives from Earth. Befriended by a young resident, the astronaut has to avoid capture in order to recover his spaceship and return home.
The film is directed by Jorge Blanco and co-directed by Javier Abad and Marcos Martinez, who worked with Blanco on the worldwide best-selling video game “Commandos.”
“Planet 51” is scheduled for completion in March 2009.
New Line plans to release the movie in 2009, backed up with a merchandising push that will involve a video game from Pyro Studios.