SOURCE: Exodus Film Group

February 08, 2007 16:12 ET

Animation Veteran Max Howard Appointed President of Exodus Film Group

Former Disney and Warner Bros. Animation Executive to Head Independent Film Studio

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 8, 2007 -- Exodus Film Group's chief executive officer, John D. Eraklis, announced today that seasoned animation executive Max Howard has joined the company as president. Howard was formerly president of Warner Bros. Feature Animation and senior vice president of Disney Feature Animation. Throughout his extensive animation career he has been instrumental in the establishment of a number of first-class animation studios around the world.

During his twelve years at Disney, Howard was one of the senior architects of the company's animation renaissance, collaborating on such animation successes as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "Pocahontas" and "The Lion King." At Warner Bros., he oversaw the award-winning animated feature "The Iron Giant" and the international hit "Space Jam." More recently he was an executive producer on "Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron" for DreamWorks Animation.

"Max is one of the most talented and experienced animation executives in the business today," said Eraklis. "His track record of building outstanding animation teams worldwide is unparalleled. We couldn't be more pleased that he's joined our team."

"The time has come in feature animation where independently financing and producing films is a viable business with burdensome and expensive technology no longer being an obstacle," added Howard. "I am thrilled to be joining a terrific company whose focus is on bringing fun and compelling stories to the screen."

Set for a fall 2008 release, Exodus' CG-animated feature film "Igor" is currently in production and will be distributed by The Weinstein Company. TWC has an all-encompassing theatrical and DVD distribution deal including North America as well as representing international rights. TWC secured film distribution for most foreign territories at last year's Cannes Film Festival and American Film Market.

"Igor" is an irreverent comedy that brings a new twist to the classic monster genre. It tells the story of an evil scientist's hunchbacked lab assistant with big dreams of becoming a scientist himself and winning the annual Evil Science Fair.

The film's stellar voice talent includes:

- Emmy winner Jeremy Piven ("Entourage," "Cars") in the role of "Dr. Schadenfreude," Igor's nemesis

- Late night talk show host Jay Leno ("Cars," "Ice Age 2") as "King Malbert," Malaria's shrewd and fiendish ruler

- Perennial siren Jennifer Coolidge ("American Pie" movies, "For Your Consideration") as "Sybil," the village vixen

- Molly Shannon ("Talladega Nights," "Saturday Night Live") as "Eva," a giant, indestructible Monster invented by Igor

- Steve Buscemi ("Charlotte's Web," "Fargo") as "Scamper," Igor's super intelligent and ill-tempered lab rabbit

- John Cleese ("Shrek" 2 & 3, "Valiant") as "Dr. Glickenstein," Igor's evil master

- Christian Slater ("Bobby," "Windtalkers") as "Igor"

Award-winning animation veteran Tony Leondis ("The Prince of Egypt," "Lilo & Stitch 2") is directing the screenplay by Chris McKenna ("American Dad"). Eraklis and Howard are producing with Eric Robinson overseeing on behalf of The Weinstein Company.

Howard's memberships and board appointments include the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA), and Association Internationale Du Film D'Animation (ASIFA). He has received ASIFA-Hollywood's Certificate of Merit and UNICEF's Children Fund Award.

Venice, California-based 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 addition to "Igor," Exodus' CG-animation slate includes "The Hero of Color City," to be distributed in North America by Magnolia Pictures, and "Bunyan & Babe."

* Poster, character art, and headshots are available upon request from Exodus

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