Sunday, April 21, 2013
A New Big Franchise?
Back in August, Oriental DreamWorks had been founded as an animation unit to produce Chinese-themed animated films given the fact that China has become a bigger market for American films nowadays, what with the influx of 3D films and such. Seeing many opportunities in front of them, the DreamWorks heads made a very smart business decision. The company's first production will be co-produced with the main unit on the West Coast. The production, in question, is Kung Fu Panda 3. (Which is currently slated for a December 23, 2015 release.)
Now they have another production in development, an animated film based on the best-selling Chinese book series The Tibet Code, a series written by He Ma.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on this earlier today, since CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg (who is currently touring China to promote The Croods) was at a press event in Beijing earlier today. The very successful series is about a master expert on the Tibetan Mastiff breed who searches for ancient Buddhist treasures with the help of his mentor, which lead to some rather epic adventures. The lead protagonist has also been described as a "Chinese Indiana Jones" of sorts. The books have also been compared to the Harry Potter series and The Da Vinci Code (hence the title). Well for one thing, there is a lot of potential in this. A big adventure series like this would be perfect for DreamWorks, and it would allow them to branch out even more. There's quite a few books in the series, too. If this were to go over well, DreamWorks' could have a very big series on their hand.
DreamWorks' longest running theatrical series to date (not counting spin-offs) is the Shrek series, with four films in total. Madagascar probably won't get another sequel though that's up in the air since the third one made the most money out of the three. Kung Fu Panda, at one point, was meant to be a 6-part (!) series. If Kung Fu Panda 3 performs well and does relatively better than Kung Fu Panda 2 did, then a second trilogy is guaranteed. If DreamWorks goes through with a whole series, they could have the longest running theatrical animated film series of all time. I'm actually hoping that this adaptation of the books is put on the schedule soon, I'm actually interested in seeing DreamWorks take on something like this.
What's your take on this? Do you DreamWorks is up for the challenge? Do you think doing an animated film series based on this will work out? Or do you think it's too risky for the studio? Sound off below!