SOURCE: Exodus Film Group

September 21, 2006 23:00 ET

Exodus Film Group Taps Award-Winning Animation Veteran Tony Leondis to Direct "Igor"

Leondis to Cook Up a Delightful Brew for Weinstein-Distributed CG-Animated Feature "Igor"

VENICE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 21, 2006 -- Award-winning animation veteran Tony Leondis has been attached to direct Exodus Film Group's CG-animated feature comedy "Igor," announced Exodus' president John D. Eraklis. Leondis' credits include Disney's "Home on the Range," DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt" and "The Road to El Dorado," and DisneyToon Studios' "Kronk's New Groove" and "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch."

A playfully irreverent comedy which brings a new twist to the classic monster genre, "Igor" is the story of a mad scientist's hunchbacked lab assistant who has big dreams of becoming a scientist in his own right and winning the coveted first place award at the annual Evil Science Fair.

"Tony's diverse creative talents are a perfect match for 'Igor,'" said Max Howard, executive producer. "His vast arrays of animation experience as a writer, director and storyboard artist are key ingredients to making the film a success."

Eric Robinson, vice president of production and development for The Weinstein Company added, "We could not be more excited to have an artist like Tony involved with 'Igor.' His experience, talent and unique vision are a perfect complement to the project."

The voice cast includes Steve Buscemi ("Charlotte's Web," "Fargo") as "Scamper," Igor's super intelligent and ill-tempered lab rabbit, John Cleese ("Shrek" 2 & 3, "A Fish Called Wanda") as "Dr. Glickenstein," Igor's evil master, and Christian Slater ("Windtalkers," "Untamed Heart") in the role of "Igor." The Weinstein Company has an all encompassing distribution deal for "Igor," including North America as well as representing international rights. TWC secured film distribution for most foreign territories at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

"Igor" is produced by Eraklis and seasoned animation executive Howard, who has collaborated on numerous animated blockbusters such as Disney's "Lion King" and "Aladdin," and Warner Bros.' "Space Jam" and "The Iron Giant." The screenplay was written by Chris McKenna, who is currently writing for his third season on the Fox animated TV show "American Dad" and is co-writing New Line Cinema's heist comedy "Black and White." In 2005, Leondis won an Annie Award for Best Home Entertainment Production for DisneyToon Studios' "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch" and received an Annie nomination for Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production for Disney's "Kronk's New Grove." Robinson is overseeing on behalf of The Weinstein Company.

Exodus Film Group is an independent production company which has made pioneering steps in the animation field by creating one of the first private equity animation film funds in the entertainment industry. Exodus' CG-animation slate also includes "The Hero of Color City," to be distributed by Magnolia Pictures and "Amarillo Armadillo." Exodus is in pre-production on the live action film "Bunyan & Babe" featuring the voice of comedic actor Eddie Griffin ("DysFunktional Family," "Scary Movie 3") as the CG-animated "Babe the Blue Ox." Eraklis is producing "Bunyan" with executive producer Tarquin Gotch ("Home Alone," "Curly Sue"). Award-winning composer Basil Poledouris ("The Jungle Book," "Lonesome Dove") is composing the score.

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