Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the BFI London Film Festival
Movie News

02 October 2015
Final Spectre Trailer Flies In
''I came here to kill you...''
First Image From The New Bridget Jones
Renée Zellweger gets technical
Empire Podcast 181: Anne Hathaway And Robert De Niro
The Intern stars stop by for a chat
Sony Plans An Animated Ghostbusters Film
Toon you gonna call?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Has A New Role In Sight
He's attached to the thriller pitch
More Movie News

30 September 2015
Phil Lord And Chris Miller Creating Serial TV Series
Based on the popular podcast
More Movie News

Focus (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Sex Tape (2014)
Empire Star Rating
22 Jump Street (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Bad Neighbours (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Warners Recruits Animation 'Brain Trust'
Phil Lord, Chris Miller & more...

07 January 2013  |  Written by James White  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

submit to reddit

Phil Lord and Chris Miller

For years, the Pixar team has talked about their central creative powerhouse – the “Brain Trust” of writers, directors, story artists and more – who help to guide each of their movies through difficult gestation periods. Given the remarkable level of success generated by the process, you’d think every studio in town would have tried it at least once. Well, Warner Bros. is getting into the game with a new attempt to crack the blockbuster animation film and has recruited the likes of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller to head up their team.

The think tank will at first be comprised of Lord and Miller with Crazy, Stupid, Love co-directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, The Muppets’ co-writer Nicholas Stoller and Bolt/Mr Popper’s Penguins writer Jared Stern.

Interestingly, none of the team – except for Requa and Ficarra – have had really strong attachments to Warners in the past (unlike Pixar’s bunch, which includes veterans John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter), and they’re all free to continue developing projects elsewhere.

The aim apparently will be to release one ‘toon a year at first under Warners’ main banner, kicking off with Lord and Miller’s Lego film next year, Stoller’s Storks (written by former Pixar man Doug Sweetland) in 2015 and Requa and Ficarra’s Smallfoot, which they’re writing from Sergio Pablos’ idea with Pablos himself lined up to direct, for 2016.

“Warner Bros. has an extraordinary legacy in the world of animation, including some of the most enduring characters in cinema history,” Warner Pictures group president Jeff Robinov tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Looking to the future, we have now gathered some of the best and brightest talents in the industry to help us grow and broaden that legacy. Drawing upon their imaginations and inspiration, the studio will produce a slate of new and original animated films that are sure to delight audiences of all ages.”

This all sounds like a sensible plan to us - the proposed team members are all accomplished filmmakers and bring their own quirky sensibilities to the table, and it's about time that someone tried to take a look at what works at other studios and try to outdo them. With Mark Millar now taking a Kevin Feige-like overview of superhero movies role at Fox (albeit perhaps without Feige's clout) and this new move at Warners, it looks like studios are beginning to take a more collective approach to filmmaking - and that could be a good thing for fans.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Frank Darabont Re-Writing Godzilla
And there are producer issues...
David Goyer Enters The Breach
Update: He's now set to direct as well as produce

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

Licence Denied: The Bond Themes You Didn't Get To Hear
A dozen of 007's greatest misses

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)