Animal Logic, Cowell to whoop with Betty Boop
A music-driven, hybrid live action/animated comedy starring Betty Boop will be among the first projects from the co-venture between Animal Logic Entertainment and Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment.
Fleischer Studios, which created and produced the Betty Boop cartoon series, has boarded the project, whose development was announced overnight.
No writer or director has been attached yet. Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian and Jason Lust will produce with Cowell and Syco’s Adam Milano.
The iconic character first appeared on screens in 1930 with numerous appearances in Max Fleischer’s Talkartoons and the Betty Boop cartoon series. Her last movie appearance was a cameo in Robert Zemeckis' blockbuster Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988.
Nalbandian tells IF that two US studios have expressed interest in developing the film with the producers and there has been a lot of interest from potential writers and directors.
"We need to find a director who inspires everyone but I think we will put the film together pretty quickly," he said. The Fleischer Studios had rebuffed numerous proposals to bring Betty to the big screen, he noted, adding, "We made a presentation to Fleischer and they thought it was the best thing."
Nalbandian is keen to see the film brings the character into the 21st Century and is tossing around ideas which may include rendering her in 3D.
Cowell said, “Betty is an icon, and one of the biggest stars in the world – I’m thrilled to be working with her. Betty, I’ve worked with some serious divas but I think you could be the biggest of them all.”
CAA, which represents Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic, brokered the deal with King Features Syndicate on behalf of Fleischer Studios.
Nalbandian hopes at least two or three films will be completed by the co-venture in the next three years. Also in development are a music-driven, hybrid live action/animation film, which is set up at Sony Pictures, and a music-driven animated feature.
Where possible he wants to bring productions to Australia, while noting that decision depends on factors such as ensuring budgets are competitive, the need for unique locations and where particular actors prefer to work.