Simon Cowell's Syco Developing Movies for Kids (Exclusive)

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This story first appeared in the May 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Simon Cowell is entering the kids movie biz.

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His Syco Entertainment has partnered with Australian animation and special effects house Animal Logic Entertainment (The Lego Movie, The Great Gatsby) to develop music-based animated and hybrid films. Sony Pictures already has boarded their first project, still untitled, due in 2016, and the joint venture is developing three more.

"This was a perfect fit [of] very complementary talents," says Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian, who will lead the new endeavor with colleague Jason Lust and Syco's Adam Milano. Syco's 2-year-old film division (One Direction: This Is Us) has 10 projects in development, all music-related. "The music has to be current," says Cowell, 54, who ended the U.S. version of The X Factor in December.

The partners say operating independently from a major studio provides flexibility to partner with several distributors.

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