Easter Bunny pics multiplying like ...


Easter is becoming the new battleground for studios as two projects featuring the Easter Bunny go head to head.

Sony Animation is pre- emptively picking up "Hip Hop," by Greg Ostrin and Michael Weiss, for mid-six figures. The deal happened at the same time that Illumination Entertainment, the Universal-based shingle with a history in animation, purchased "I Hop" to act as its first live-action pic.

In "Hip Hop," the Easter Bunny decides to retire and hides out as a pet with a suburban family. The plan is to make the movie using a mix of CGI and live action.

In "I Hop," the Easter Bunny is hit by a car driven by a slacker. When the bunny can't hop because his leg is broken, the driver must train to take over the job and save Easter.

Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio wrote the script with John Cohen and Chris Meledandri producing. Paul and Daurio, repped by Gersh, previously wrote "Despicable Me," Illumination's animated project being voiced by Steve Carell, Jason Segel and Kristen Wiig.

Weiss' credits include "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Ostrin has "One Night Stan" set up at Warner Bros. and "NYPD Nanny" at Fox. The duo is repped by Original Artists; Weiss is additionally repped by Jonathan Hung. (partialdiff)