When DreamWorks set up an animation studio in China, big plans were put into place.
The studio, called Oriental DreamWorks, was always set to make their own animated features in addition to live-action productions. They co-produced Kung Fu Panda 3, for starters. A certain mystery production, which turned out to be a yeti tale called Everest, was set to be the first animated feature that they would make on their own. Or so it seemed...
It appears that the film is no longer going to be done up at DreamWorks' Shanghai unit, so I was told...
@DeLuxODonnell92 Everest is no longer an ODW production. It's been brought back to glendale & will be released as a normal DWA film— Jonathan Hernandez (@jhun88) March 2, 2017
Hernandez's bio says he works for DreamWorks, so yes, there you have it.
Perhaps that explains the director change as well. Originally, the film was going to be written and directed by Jill Culton, but by the time the film was officially slated (which was this past December), she was off the project. I wonder why it has been taken back. Early rumors suggested that DreamWorks was going to scale down and make just one Glendale movie every year, which lead me to believe that they would outsource certain films in order to still get two out there in certain years. Captain Underpants, opening this summer, was outsourced to Mikros.
I was wondering if that would continue. It was similar to the way Disney Feature Animation used to do it in the 90s and early 2000s. Some smaller-budgeted features - such as Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and the aborted A Few Good Ghosts - were made/to be made at the now-defunct Florida unit, while Burbank handled goliath-budget heavies like Tarzan and Treasure Planet. If Everest is not an ODW production, will ODW make something else then? Or will they collaborate on certain movies?
Does DreamWorks still plan to send some movies overseas so that they don't cost anywhere near $125 million to make? Or better yet, to another state? I'm not sure what Chris DeFaria's game plan is here, I've heard many different stories here and there. It's all a bit convoluted, but whatever direction DreamWorks goes, we shall see.
What say you?