Starz begins production on Wizard of Oz 3D budgeted at $20 million

MUMBAI: Starz Animation Toronto, Multiple Media Entertainment (MME), and Gigapix Studios are set to begin production on the stereoscopic CG animated feature film, with the working title OZ3D, a humorous and contemporary adaptation of the L. Frank Baum classic book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The film is budgeted at $20 million with Michael Taylor and Drew Craig of MME executive producing. The deal was brokered by Starz Animation EVP Jeff Young. The script was penned by Connor Pritchard (co-creator of the new Comedy Central series Workaholics).

Taylor said, "Coming off the tremendous job that Starz Animation Toronto did on the hit CG animated feature film Gnomeo and Juliet, they were undeniably the place to go for world class production talent and experience to execute on such an internationally known and beloved property like OZ."

Young added, "We’re thrilled to now step into the producing role and maximize the strength of our studio on all levels. Creatively, the OZ3D project is hilarious, perfect for the modern audience and at the same time is respectful of the underlying material."

Gigapix Studios president David Pritchard said, "Working with Starz Animation and MME gives us an unparalleled combination of creative talent and executive experience that provides an excellent foundation for building a long lasting relationship to create and produce high quality animation for OZ3D as well as other projects to come."

Worldwide distribution for the film will be handled by MME. MME and Gigapix have entered into a US representation agreement with Gigapix Studios’ distribution company, Gigapix Releasing, securing through its newly formed P&A fund, a minimum commitment of $10 million for a theatrical release on a minimum 1,000 screens.

Starz Animation’s Rob Silvestri will direct the movie. Previously Rob created and directed the animated short Ormie and worked extensively on Gnomeo & Juliet and the Tim Burton produced animated film 9.