Fox Animation Hires Exec for Live-Action/CG Hybrid Initiative (Exclusive)

Nate Hopper will spearhead an initiative to expand the studio's portfolio to include what are being described as family hybrid movies.

Fox Animation is aiming to make in-roads into live-action/CG movies.

Twentieth Century Fox has hired Nate Hopper to spearhead a Fox Animation initiative to expand its portfolio to include what are being described as family hybrid movies.  

He will report to Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison. Details of the initiative are being kept locked.

Hopper is a seasoned animation exec who spent years at Sony Pictures Animation where he served as the lead creative executive on the company’s inaugural movie, 2006’s Open Season, and worked on Surf’s Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Arthur Christmas. He was also key to the making of SPA’s hit franchise Hotel Transylvania.

His hybrid experience comes from working on SPA’s The Smurfs, which blended live-action with CG-animated versions of the popular European bande dessinee characters.

More recently, he acted as a co-producer of stop-motion feature Auntie Claus and co-wrote and is producing Blazing Samurai, an animated cats-vs.-dogs take on Blazing Saddles that has the voice talent of Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Cera. Open Road is to distribute the film in 2017.

Fox’s hiring of Hopper is a homecoming for the exec, who in the late 1990s and early 2000s worked as a vp production in Fox’s live-action division, working on such films as X-Men, Big Momma’s House and Me, Myself & Irene.