Handmade, Ilion exploring 'Planet One'

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LONDON -- U.K. movie production, financing and sales banner Handmade Films said Wednesday that it is teaming with Spanish toon house Ilion Animation Studios to produce the CG-animated film "Planet One," based on a script by "Shrek" scribe Joe Stillman.

Handmade will partner with Madrid-based Ilion on a financial, production and worldwide sales basis for the $50 million-budgeted sci-fi toon, the company said.

Directed by Jorge Blanco, the creator of the video game series "Commandos," the feature-length cartoon will be produced by Ilion Animation Studios chief Ignacio Perez Dolset alongside Guy Collins and Michael Ryan for Handmade Films International. Also serving as producers are former Nickelodeon president Albie Hecht and Lola Films chief Andres Vicente Gomez.

Production will commence in May, with a theatrical release targeted for Christmas 2008 or Easter 2009, Handmade said.

Ilion, its sister video game company Pyro Studios and mobile company LaNetro Zed are in development on a game version of the script and plan to blitz cell phones with promotions to cross-promote the film and game.

Billed as a family adventure, the movie details the story of an alien invasion, with the invader being an American astronaut who lands on "Planet One."

"This co-production with Ilion demonstrates an exciting move into the field of animation for Handmade," Collins said. "We were introduced to Ilion by Andres Vicente Gomez and we were immediately convinced by the quality of the CGI, and as we got further into discussions also began to appreciate the attention to detail and creative process employed."

For his part, Dolset said he was "delighted to partner with Handmade" on the movie.

"After four years working on this project, we have built a full studio with very talented people and cutting-edge technology that enables the production of an amazing visual experience," he said.
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