Spellbound (2024 film)

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Spellbound
Directed byVicky Jenson
Screenplay by
  • Lauren Hynek
  • Elizabeth Martin
  • Julia Miranda
Produced by
Starring
Music byAlan Menken[1]
Production
company
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • November 22, 2024 (2024-11-22)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Spellbound is an upcoming American animated musical fantasy film directed by Vicky Jenson from a screenplay by Julia Miranda and the writing team of Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin. It features music composed by Alan Menken, who also wrote the songs with longtime collaborator and lyricist Glenn Slater.[1] Produced by Skydance Animation, the film features the voices of Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Tituss Burgess, John Lithgow, Jenifer Lewis, and Nathan Lane. Set in the world of magic known as Lumbria, the story follows Princess Ellian (Zegler), a young girl who must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.

The project, initially titled Split, was announced in July 2017, shortly after Skydance Animation was formed in March 2017, with Paramount Pictures scheduling distribution for 2019. The film subsequently underwent changes, such as release dates, with Jenson later announced as the director, and the film's title changed to The Unbreakable Spell,[2] before eventually getting to its current title. The film was acquired by Apple TV+ in December 2020, before Netflix took over the rights in October 2023. Much of the main voice cast signed on in June 2022, following Zegler's casting in April 2022. Production was done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spellbound is scheduled for release on November 22, 2024 on Netflix.

Premise

The story is set in a world of magic known as Lumbria where a young girl, Ellian, must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.[3]

Voice cast

Additionally, Tituss Burgess has been cast in an undisclosed role.[4][5]

Production

Development

In March 2017, Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based animation studio Ilion Animation Studios, forming an animation division called Skydance Animation.[6] In July, it announced Split, and it was revealed by Skydance Media CEO David Ellison that Linda Woolverton was writing the film.[7][8] It would be distributed by Paramount Pictures as part of their deal with Skydance Media and was given a release date for sometime in 2019. Following John Lasseter's hiring as CCO of Skydance Animation, then-chief of Paramount Animation Mireille Soria announced that Paramount Animation would end its informal work with Skydance.[9]

In April 2020, composer Alan Menken announced that he was working on the project with Lasseter,[10] which was renamed to The Unbreakable Spell before it became Spellbound.[1] The film would be directed by Vicky Jenson, from a screenplay by Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin and Woolverton, with songs by Menken and longtime collaborator Glenn Slater.[3] In July 2020, it was announced that Spellbound was still going to be released by Paramount Pictures without Paramount Animation[11] until Apple TV+ acquired the distribution rights to it in December 2020 as part of a larger pact with Skydance Animation.[12] Apple Original Films would replace Paramount as a production company. However, in October 2023, Skydance Animation ended its deal with Apple, and later signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, which would take over distribution of the studio's future films in production, including Spellbound.[13] In February 2024, Julia Miranda was revealed to have replaced Woolverton as a screenwriter.[14]

Casting

In April 2022, Rachel Zegler was cast as the lead character.[15] In June, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Nathan Lane, Jenifer Lewis, André De Shields, and Jordan Fisher were added to the cast.[16] In June 2023, Tituss Burgess joined the cast.[4][5]

Animation

Animation has been provided by Skydance Animation Madrid with portions of production done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.[17]

Marketing

In March 2022, it was reported that Skydance Animation made a multi-year deal with Spin Master Entertainment to make toys based on the film.[18]

Release

In March 2017, it was reported that the original release was intended to be in 2019.[7] On July 20, 2020, Paramount Pictures dated the film for November 11, 2022.[11] On December 16, 2020, Apple TV+ entered talks to take over the distribution rights to the film, retaining its November 11 date. However, the film ended up missing its release date for unknown reasons.[19][20]

A work-in-progress presentation of the film was shown at the 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June by Jenson and head of story Brian Pimental.[21] Shortly after, the film was announced for a 2024 release.[4][5] That October, Netflix took over the film's distribution rights from Apple, as part of a new multi-year deal with Skydance Animation, while retaining its 2024 release.[13] In June 2024, Netflix announced that the film will premiere on November 22.[22][23]

References

  1. ^ a b c Giranda, Carolyn (May 20, 2020). "Alan Menken to Compose Original Songs and Score for Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  2. ^ Keegan, Rebecca; Giardina, Carolyn (July 27, 2022). "John Lasseter's Second Act". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 27, 2022. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  3. ^ a b McNary, Dave (July 20, 2020). "Skydance Animation's 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' Scheduled for 2022 Release". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Giardina, Carolyn (June 12, 2023). "Tituss Burgess Joins Voice Cast of Apple and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'; New Image Revealed (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c "Tituss Burgess Joins Voice Cast of Apple and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'; New Image Released (Exclusive)". GVS-Entertainment. June 12, 2023. Archived from the original on June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 13, 2023.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (March 16, 2017). "David Ellison's Skydance Launching Animation Division With Spain's Ilion". Variety. Archived from the original on March 16, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 16, 2017). "Skydance Launches Animation Studio With Spain-Based Ilion". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 16, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  8. ^ Busch, Anita (July 31, 2017). "Skydance's Steps Big Into Animation: 'Split' And 'Luck' Coming From Top Notch Ani Filmmakers". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 14, 2019). "Paramount Animation Chief Says Her Team Won't Be Working With John Lasseter at Skydance". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  10. ^ Young Artists of America (April 2, 2020). Talk Back with Alan Menken. Retrieved July 21, 2020 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ a b McNary, Dave (July 20, 2020). "Skydance Animation's 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' Scheduled for 2022 Release". Variety. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  12. ^ "Apple Makes Big Animation Commitment with New Skydance Animation Deal". Collider. February 17, 2021. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 18, 2023). "Netflix Sets Skydance Animation In Multi-Year Deal, First Up Is Alan Menken Musical 'Spellbound;' Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem Star". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 18, 2023. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  14. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (February 1, 2024). "Netflix Animation Announces 'Woody Woodpecker' Hybrid Movie, New Images Revealed for Upcoming Slate". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2024. Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 1, 2022). "Rachel Zegler to Voice Lead of Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on April 1, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  16. ^ Grobar, Matt (June 21, 2022). "Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Nathan Lane, Jenifer Lewis & More Board Animated Pic Spellbound From Apple & Skydance Animation". Deadline. Archived from the original on June 21, 2022. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 8, 2020). "How Animated Pics Like 'Tom & Jerry', 'SpongeBob Movie', 'Sing 2', Skydance's 'Luck' & More Are Working Through The COVID-19 Crisis". Deadline. Archived from the original on May 8, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  18. ^ Hayes, Dade (March 22, 2022). "Skydance Animation Sets Licensing Pact with 'PAW Patrol' Creator Spin Master, Kicking off with Apple Original Film 'Spellbound'". Deadline. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  19. ^ Donnelly, Matt; Lang, Brent (December 16, 2020). "Skydance Animation in Talks to Move 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' to Apple (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 16, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  20. ^ Donnelly, Matt (February 17, 2021). "Apple and Skydance Animation Formally Announce Multi-Year Partnership". Variety. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  21. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (June 13, 2023). "Vicky Jenson Teases 'Spellbound' Songs Reuniting 'I See The Light' Duo Alan Menken & Glen Slater – Annecy". Deadline. Archived from the original on June 13, 2023. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  22. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (June 6, 2024). "Next on Netflix Animation Presentation Sneak-Peeks 'K-Pop: Demon Hunters', 'Plankton' Movie, 'Motel Transylvania' and Much, Much More!". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on June 6, 2024. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  23. ^ Giardina, Carolyn; Moreau, Jordan (June 6, 2024). "Timothy Olyphant to Star in Netflix's 'Terminator Zero'; Plus 'Plankton' Movie and 'Motel Transylvania' Among Animation Slate". Variety. Archived from the original on June 6, 2024. Retrieved June 7, 2024.

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