DreamWorks Studios has gone from a dead stop to flat-out gallop: It has six films in production this summer, all eyeing 2011 bows.

That's a tidy number for a company that closed $825 million in financing with Reliance Big Pictures and other investors less than a year ago, and it's making for hectic times inside DreamWorks. Major studios generally might have three or four films in production at one time.

D.J. Caruso's "I Am Number Four" began lensing in mid-May, while Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens" took to the saddle Wednesday. Shawn Levy begins shooting "Real Steel" on Monday, followed by "The Help" in late July and Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" in early August. Craig Gillespie also shoots "Fright Night" this summer.

Busy sked sends a clear message that DreamWorks is back in business, as well as a hopeful spot for agents and talent battling a slowdown in the number of studio films being made.
Via DreamWorks' distribution deal with Disney, five of the six titles opening next year will go out via Touchstone. DreamWorks also will partner with other studios from time to time. "Cowboys" will be distributed by U domestically and Paramount overseas.


This week, the Mouse announced it has hired marketing exec Kevin Campbell to serve as liaison with DreamWorks. Campbell, another Universal alum, will work hand and glove with DreamWorks marketing topper Christine Birch. He was tapped by MT Carney, Disney's new marketing topper, Snyder and Birch.


In the year that DreamWorks had to wait for funding, the studio could only work on projects it already held rights to, such as Hugh Jackman starrer "Real Steel" and Daniel Craig topliner "Cowboys & Aliens." There were no funds to buy new material.

That means that "Number Four," "Fight Night," "The Help" and "War Horse" have all come together this year, for the most part. Casting isn't yet complete for either "The Help" or "War Horse."
Key projects in active development at DreamWorks include "Ghost in the Shell," "Monsterpocalypse" and an international heist pic pitched by John Hlavin.
Entertainment news, film reviews, awards, film festivals, box office, entertainment industry conferences - Variety


12/9/09
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