Reel FX, India's Crest Animation Propose $220 Million Film Joint Venture

The proposed joint venture will produce 10 CGI animation/hybrid films over eight years to be distributed by 'major studios in Hollywood.'

NEW DELHI – India's Crest Animation Studios has “entered into an understanding to form a joint venture” with U.S.-based animation and FX studio Reel FX to coproduce 10 films over eight years.

Headed by former ILM executive Ed Jones, Reel FX has produced CG animation for films such as Sony's Open Season 3, Disney's The Wild and provided special effects for titles such as Enchanted and Sin City.
In a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange Wednesday, Crest said, “The films to be produced under the proposed joint venture will be distributed by major studios in Hollywood. Reel FX shall be the main creative partner and Crest is envisaged to be the animation services provider from which Crest is expected to earn revenues of more than $100 million over a period of five years. The parties to the proposed JV are intended to invest more than $220 million in the form of a combination of equity and debt.”

Crest also added that the objective of the JV is to finance and produce a slate of ten CGI animated/hybrid feature films over a period of seven or eight years. The films will be developed by top talent in Hollywood under the supervision of Cary Granat, ex CEO of Walden Media.

At Walden, Granat successfully re-launched the estates of and secured the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia franchise.

Recently, Granat Entertainment teamed with Reel FX to form Bedrock Studios, with the aim of developing and producing franchise films in the range of $35 million and under. It is in preproduction on its first project, the animated feature Turkeys featuring the voice-over talents of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson as two turkeys who discover a time machine and travel back to the first Thanksgiving to take themselves off the menu.

Last year, Crest partnered with Canada-headquartered Lionsgate Entertainment to co-produce stereoscopic 3D animated feature Norm of the North, the second film as part of a three-picture coproduction deal inked in 2005.
The first Lionsgate/Crest coproduction was 2010's CGI animated feature Alpha and Omega, a comedy about two mismatched wolves, featuring the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panetierre and Christina Ricci.