With five new feature films heading into development, China-based Oriental DreamWorks (ODW) has promoted creative head Peilin Chou to chief creative officer. Chou will fill the role previously held by Melissa Cobb, who left earlier this month to join Netflix as VP of kids and family.
In Chou’s new role, the former Nickelodeon and Disney exec will lead the overall creative direction of the family-focused animation studio, overseeing its entire feature film slate, including the previously announced Everest. (The Yeti-themed movie will be a Universal Pictures release in 2019.)
Based in Shanghai and New York City, Chou will shape a slate of more than a dozen active projects, including newly announced Over the Moon from writer Audrey Wells (A Dog’s Purpose, George of the Jungle) and executive producer Janet Yang (Joy Luck Club), as well as Illumikitty from Rio 2 scribe Jenny Bicks. The former is a modern-day retelling of a classic Chinese myth about a mysterious moon goddess named Chang’e, while the latter is a comedy featuring a feline plot for world domination.
Other upcoming films include an untitled Chinatown adventure comedy with supernatural elements conceived and executive produced by Master of None co-creator Alan Yang, superhero-based The Monkey King written by Ron Friedman and Steve Bencich (Brother Bear, Chicken Little), and buddy comedy Lucky written by Rita Hsiao (Mulan, Toy Story 2).
Prior to joining Oriental DreamWorks in 2015, Chou was a partner at Lifefilm Entertainment in New York for nine years after spending a year as programming SVP at Comcast-owned AZN Television. Chou also served as director of development at Nickelodeon and was a development exec at Walt Disney Feature Animation and Touchstone Pictures with credits including Mulan and Toy Story 2.
Her appointment to CCO comes as Warner Bros. is reportedly in talks to buy Universal’s 45% stake in Oriental DreamWorks, which Universal took over when Comcast acquired DreamWorks Animation last year. ODW is currently backed by DreamWorks Animation, CMC Capital Partners, Shanghai Media Group, and Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited.