Kelly Asbury, who co-wrote and directed Disney’s Gnomeo and Juliet and co-directed Shrek 2, has been hired to write Pooch Cafe for Sony Pictures Animation, the studio announced today. The pic is based on Paul Gilligan’s syndicated comic strip, which features a mutt named Poncho who hangs out at the local Pooch Cafe with his canine pals to discuss the topics of the day. Asbury, repped by UTA and NewhousePorterHubbard, also co-directed the animated Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron. “Kelly’s wit and cinematic sensibility pairs wonderfully with the irreverent characters and wry comedy in the Pooch Café comic strip,” said SPA production president Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, who made the announcement “We’ve been looking for something to do with Kelly, and this was a perfect match.”
Sony Pictures Animation has bought screen rights to the Janet Foxley children’s novel Muncle Trogg. It is the first acquisition made by Michelle Raimo-Kouyate since she joined as president of production. She made the deal with Sony Pictures Digital Productions president Bob Osher. The book is about a fairytale community based inside a volcano, and hidden away from humans. Jane Startz will be exec producer and Kane Lee will be co-producer.
“There are strong characters, relatable themes, a unique world and tons of inherent comedy,” said Raimo-Kouyate. “As soon as I read Muncle Trogg, I knew this would speak to the kinds of animated movies I want to make at Sony Pictures Animation.”
The division most recently released Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and has The Smurfs coming up with Sony Pictures.
(Culver City, November 11, 2010) — Michelle Raimo-Kouyate has been named president of production for Sony Pictures Animation, it was announced today by Bob Osher, President of Digital Productions for Sony Pictures Entertainment.