Open Road Acquires 'Blazing Samuai'

Rob Minkoff - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Rob Minkoff - H 2015

Open Road reboots a live-action classic as a family animated film.

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the animated family film Blazing Samurai, which it plans to release nationwide on April 14, 2017.

The film, which is described as loosely based on Mel Brooks' 1974 Blazing Saddles,  follows a scrappy dog battling a cat warlord. It will be directed by Chris Bailey (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Mark Koetsier (Kung Fu Panda) from a screenplay by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper. It is being produced by Rob Minkoff, who directed The Lion King and Stuart Little and is the founder and chairman of Cinemation; Yair Landau, president and founder of Mass Animation, and Susan Purcell.

"Mass Animation is thrilled to be working with Cinemation and Open Road in bringing our crazy vision of a blazing samurai dog in a cat world to theaters," Landau said in a statement.

GFM Films is handling International sales and providing production funding.

The deal, which was announced today by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg, Landau and Minkoff, was negotiated by Ortenberg and Open Road evp production and acquisitions Peter Lawson with Paradigm's Emanuel Nunez and Adam Kanter on behalf of the producers and filmmakers, along with Harold Brown of Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown.