Sony picks all U.S. distribution rights for Planet 51

Mumbai: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has acquired all U.S. distribution rights for the new CG animated family film Planet 51. The announcement was made by SPWAG president Steven Bersch, Ilion Animation Studios CEO Ignacio Perez Dolset and HandMade Films International chairman Guy Collins. Planet 51 is scheduled for a wide theatrical release by Sony Pictures Releasing under the TriStar Pictures label on 20 November 2009.

A HandMade Films International Presentation of an Ilion Animation Studios Film, Planet 51 is directed by Jorge Blanco, along with co-directors Marcos Martinez and Javier Abad, and scripted by Joe Stillman. The film is produced by Ignacio Perez Dolset and Guy Collins, with Peter D. Graves, Michael Ryan and José A. Rodriguez serving as executive producer, and will star Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman and John Cleese.

Planet 51 is an alien adventure comedy about Earth astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker who lands on Planet 51 thinking he is the first to set foot on it. To his surprise, he discovers that it is inhabited by little green people who live on a white picket-fenced world reminiscent of a cheerfully innocent 1950’s America. Their only fear is that they will be over-run by alien invaders like Chuck. With the help of a friendly teenager and other Planet 51 citizens, Chuck tries to avoid the local Anti-Alien Army, and get back safely to his spaceship before he is captured.

In making the announcement, Bersch stated, "With Planet 51, Ignacio and his very talented team have created an original and entertaining family film featuring an outstanding cast. We are excited to be the US distributor of the film, and we look forward to partnering with the teams at Ilion and HandMade."

"In creating the amazing world of Planet 51, we have integrated the newest animation technologies, resulting in a visual experience unlike any other animated film," says Dolset. "Having Sony come on board with this project is the culmination of a decade-long journey and we are thrilled to be partnering with them in bringing this unique animation experience to cinema-goers in the U.S.."

"We could not ask for a more ideal partner," adds Collins. "Sony is perfectly positioned to maximize the film’s box office potential with its outstanding marketing and distribution infrastructure, which has launched some of the most successful films in recent history."