In a new creative pact, London’s Locksmith Animation and Warner Bros. Pictures are set to co-develop and co-produce multiple family-friendly feature films.
The deal will see Locksmith’s co-CEO’s Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart (pictured left and right, respectively) collaborate directly with Warner Animation Group VP Allison Abbate.
Warner Bros. Pictures will handle worldwide distribution of the still-to-be announced films. Warner’s current animation slate includes upcoming titles SCOOB (May 2020), Tom & Jerry (April 2021) and Space Jam 2 (July 2021).
Locksmith is currently in production on Ron’s Gone Wrong for Walt Disney Studios. It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy’s relationship with a malfunctioning robot. The film was originally part of the company’s multi-picture deal with Twentieth Century Fox Film and is the only film to come out of that deal, which was secured in September 2017 prior to Disney’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Fox. A PR rep for Locksmith confirmed that the Fox deal is no longer in place.
Before its relationship with Fox, Locksmith held a now-defunct multi-film deal with Paramount Pictures.
Smith, a BAFTA Award-winning director, writer and producer (Arthur Christmas), co-founded Locksmith with producer Lockhart (Shaun the Sheep Movie, Pirates! Band of Misfits) in partnership with financial backer Elisabeth Murdoch and global VFX company Double Negative (Black Panther) in 2014.
For more on WB’s kids and family film strategy, check out Kidscreen’s recent conversation with Courtenay Valenti, the studio’s president of production and development.