Haim Saban, chairman and chief executive officer of Saban Capital Group and founder of Saban Brands, writer and director Chris Columbus, producer Michael Barnathan and Jeremy Zag, founder of Zag Entertainment, have joined forces to launch Zag Animation Studios.
“This is an incredible moment for our business as we partner to create a world-class animation studio that will produce extraordinary feature films,” says Saban. “Zag Animation Studios will deliver creative and compelling family entertainment for generations to come.”
The new studio already has a slate of 10 original family features in development, comprised of both full CGI animated films as well as CGI/live-action hybrids, with the aim of producing one 3D animated film and one CGI/live-action hybrid film per year starting in 2017.
The Saban Group will coordinate distribution and marketing strategies for all Zag films, while Saban Brands will handle worldwide licensing and merchandising.
The studio’s first feature, Melody, will be full CGI and will be co-directed by Chris Columbus and Jeremy Zag. Additional films in the lineup include Ghostforce, a CGI/live-action hybrid, and Abominable in full CGI.
“After all of these years, it's fantastic to start a new venture that brings together talented artists from around the world under Jeremy's excellent leadership and Haim's brilliant international business experience,” says Columbus (Harry Potter franchise, Night at the Museum franchise, The Help, Home Alone).
More details on the lineup will be announced soon along with plans for consumer products.
“I am so honored and excited to collaborate with these amazing entertainment legends that influenced my childhood with their incredible works,” says Zag. “This powerful venture, with an unprecedented dream team, will inevitably set the stage for a powerful new player with a world-view perspective in the family entertainment arena.”