The Walt Disney Studios, in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Hobbit”), is launching a new production label called Disney Double Dare You, to create new animated films full of chills and thrills for audiences of all ages.
Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook announced the partnership today in a star-studded presentation to the D23 Expo fan convention that brought actors Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, and directors Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and singer-actress Miley Cyrus onstage in a packed auditorium at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Move can be viewed as yet another way for Disney to try to lure males to the company’s projects and pairs up with its recent takeover of Marvel.
All films will be produced under the guidance of del Toro, who originated the concept and the design of DDY and who will also direct certain projects. The first project in development for the new label is called Trollhunters, an original del Toro story which he will produce which will introduce a mysterious aspect of his new brand. The pics will all be tied together by "one feature that shall remain secret, but that you shall soon be very familiar with," del Toro said.
Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, “Guillermo is a brilliant and visionary filmmaker, and we’re excited to be launching this new label with him. His knowledge and appreciation for Disney films, along with his penchant for creating worlds of fantasy, presented a great opportunity for us to explore a whole new genre of filmmaking for moviegoers of all ages. We have admired Guillermo’s imaginative approach to filmmaking for some time, and now we’re proud to be working with him to create films full of imaginative delights and lots of thrills at the same time.”
Del Toro added, “As a director, I love to take audiences into fantastic new worlds and provide them with some anxious moments in the process. It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments and villains in all their classic films. It is my privilege for DDY to continue in this tradition. To partner up with The Walt Disney Studios, with the support of Dick Cook and John Lasseter, is to belong to a storytelling partnership that I admire deeply. It is a true honor. I look forward to coming up with fresh and original stories that will take Disney films in a whole new direction. The emphasis is on fun, and we have some great ideas already on the storyboards.”
As part of its master plan to capture a greater male audience, Disney is looking to Double Dare You to create a darker slate of animated films than the usual Disney cartoon fare, as well as produce books and merchandising tie-ins
No other details are known yet such as how many films they might make or when production on Trollhunters might begin, but no doubt we'll be hearing more soon.
Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth received six Academy Award® nominations in 2007, including one for his original screenplay, and went on to win three awards. That film also received a BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English language. His other directing credits include “Hellboy,” “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Cronos,” and “Mimic,” among others. Del Toro is currently directing back-to-back feature film adaptations of the Tolkien classic, The Hobbit, for release in 2011 and 2012.
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* * *Source: Variety, LA Times, MoviesOnline