Paramount Teams With Elisabeth Murdoch's Locksmith Animation on Slate of Films

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Brad Grey, Elisabeth Murdoch

Under the agreement, the studio and Locksmith have three projects in the works that Locksmith has been developing since it launched in 2014.

Paramount Pictures and Elisabeth Murdoch's Locksmith Animation are partnering to co-develop and co-produce a series of animated projects for the studio.

Under the agreement, Paramount and Locksmith have three projects in the works that Locksmith has been developing since it launched in 2014. The plan is to begin production within the next 12 months and to release the first theatrical motion picture in 2020. The deal also leaves room for other projects, with the hope of eventually creating a slate of releases.

Locksmith Animation is the U.K.’s first dedicated high-end CG feature animation studio. The company was founded by writer-director Sarah Smith (Arthur Christmas) and producer Julie Lockhart (Shaun the Sheep Movie, Pirates! in an Adventure With Scientists!), with backing from media heiress Murdoch.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Elisabeth Murdoch and Locksmith Animation to develop an exciting series of new films,” said Paramount CEO Brad Grey. “The unparalleled experience and talents of Elisabeth, Sarah and Julie will enrich our animation studio and further our commitment to creating world-class entertainment for audiences of all ages around the world.”

Added Smith: “We are delighted Paramount has responded with enthusiasm to our ambitious and original slate of films, and will go forward to take them to a global audience.”

Lockhart said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build London as a world-class animation hub. Paramount has a wealth of experience and expertise in distributing animated features and we are thrilled to partner in this venture.”

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