Big Hollywood clout goes to a little U.K. toon studio
Two former Hollywood heavies have teamed up with the founder of London-based indie studio BA20 to form a new company called Corsham Entertainment. The trio is comprised of: Gary Kurtz, the veteran producer behind Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, American Graffiti and The Dark Crystal; Richard Bazley, a former lead animator at Disney whose credits include Pocahontas and Warner Bros. feature The Iron Giant; and Alastair Swinnerton, co-creator of Lego’s Bionicles.
Corsham, which officially launches at MIPCOM, will initially develop, produce and co-produce animated films and TV series, although there are some live-action projects in the pipeline. Swinnerton says the company will do most of the work in-house, with the exception of projects already being co-produced. The team will start off by finishing up a slew of work inherited from BA20, including half-hour family Christmas special Jack Frost (with Stardust Pictures); CGI action-adventure series Terranoids (with Toronto, Canada-based Spin Entertainment and French prodco TEVA); Bollywood Road (with India’s UTV), an animated series described as The Simpsons set in Bollywood; and a Stepford Wives-meets-Beetlejuice feature film entitled Voodoo Child.
Nintendo to get back to gaming basics
Nintendo appears to have given up hope that its GameCube console will ever be a serious threat to Sony’s PlayStation 2, and citing poor sales, it has halted production on the Cube in order to clear out leftover stock. In a bid to speed up the process, the company will launch Club Nintendo in the U.S. and Japan before the end of 2003. The program awards points for buying software that can then be redeemed for Nintendo gear. President Satoru Iwata has also revealed that Nintendo intends to release a new gaming system (though the timing of the launch is being kept under wraps) that will take the company back to its original strategy of offering fun, simple software that appeals to a broader range of customers.