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Producer Stacey Sher is joining the newly launched Activision Blizzard Studios, where she will serve as co-president alongside Nick van Dyk.
Video game giant Activision Blizzard announced in November that it had set up the new studio venture to create movies and television shows based on the company’s intellectual property with an aim toward developing franchises and cinematic universes based on such games as the best-selling Call of Duty and Skylanders.
Sher, an Academy Award nominee for the best picture Oscar contenders Erin Brockovich and Django Unchained, most recently served as one of the producers of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.
“Stacey is a rare talent behind two decades of award-winning television series and films. Her ability to collaborate with the most inspired, talented people in entertainment and her unyielding commitment to creativity make her perfectly suited to Activision Blizzard Studios,” Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said Wednesday in a statement.
Sher, who takes up the new post immediately, told The Hollywood Reporter that she decided to sign on after meeting Kotick, explaining, “We hit it off. We started talking about this extraordinary, enormous amount of first-rate, unique, inspired IP. They have a passionate fan base, which is like finding a unicorn these days. He really cares, and the entire company really cares, about honoring their IP, their fans and their players. They have a commitment to quality and won’t release a game unless it’s top-notch and that pursuit of excellence and that pursuit of quality has always mattered to me in my career.”
Said van Dyk: “We’re going to have a very different organization than a typical studio would. It’s going to be a lot smaller, a lot leaner, more efficient. We’re starting with a blank piece of paper to build an organization that is similar to what we want to accomplish creatively and how we want to bring our stuff to market in a way that addresses how people want to enjoy their entertainment these days. We’re both going to be working on everything together. I come from more of a business background, and Stacey comes from more of a creative background, so I think our skill sets are very complementary and it will be a true partnership.”
Blizzard Studios has not yet set a timetable for its first releases. “We’re not backing into a release date because there’s a hole in the schedule,” said Sher. “We are looking to the best possible series or film. Whatever form it takes will be what is right for the IP. We’re not going to jam anything into something just because we have to fill a slot. Our entire mandate is about honoring the IP, the fans and the players and expanding it to new audiences.”
Sher’s credits also include such films as Pulp Fiction, Garden State, Contagion, Out of Sight and World Trade Center, as well as the TV series Into the Badlands and Reno 911.
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