The big news on the DreamWorks Animation
Enter Ben Stiller. His production entity, Red Hour Films, has been tapped by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg to develop a property called Master Mind, which is the work of Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons. According to the press release, Stiller will be applying his skills as a producer to add value to the project. He's added value to a DreamWorks Animation product before, lending his considerable voice talents to Madagascar; he's also involved in the sequel to that film, due out in 2008.
Master Mind sounds like a great premise. It's a parody of the superhero format, and it goes something like this -- when an evil villain accidentally takes out his good-guy counterpart, he suddenly realizes that life was more exciting with him around. Sounds like a unique take to me, and I can see how this would make an interesting, high-concept cartoon. Disney
Working with Ben Stiller on such a concept could, theoretically, reap some rewards. He's a comedic genius, no question, and he's been in a lot of hits, most recently Night at the Museum. He also was in Mystery Men, which was a spoof of X-Men-type fare. DreamWorks Animation doesn't mind seeking out famous comedic talent to bolster the chances for its films. Jerry Seinfeld is a triple threat on the upcoming Bee Movie -- he has a producing, writing, and starring credit on this feature.
About the only thing that makes me reticent when I see high-profile stars entering into deals like this is the amount of compensation they will receive; the movie business is complex enough to analyze without knowing the structural details of a deal. I myself wish there were more disclosure; alas, the so-called "Katie Couric" clause was never adopted.
Nevertheless, I see this project as completely in keeping with DreamWorks Animation's search for new hits. The competition is quite tough out there these days; Time Warner
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. As of this writing, he was ranked 11,615 out of 25,453 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.