Iconix Brand Group has named Leigh Anne Brodsky managing director of Peanuts Worldwide, its joint venture with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates. The move comes following October’s announcement of an animated feature film based on the Peanuts gang that will be made by 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios. Brodsky will oversee the global business for the Peanuts property and the launch of the film that’s set for a November 25, 2015 release. She will also oversee and develop the Iconix Entertainment division which is eyeing expansion through entertainment-based properties. The company’s portfolio currently largely consits of consumer brands. Brodsky was formerly president of Nickelodeon Consumer Products.
BREAKING: 20th Century Fox Animation and Ice Age makers Blue Sky Studios will turn Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock and the whole Peanuts gang into an animated feature film franchise. Fox has closed a deal for rights to turn the strip by the late Charles Schulz into a film that has already been set for release on November 25, 2015. That date commemorates the 65th anniversary of the comic strip and the 50th anniversary of the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Fox Animation has set director Steve Martino, who co-directed the Fox/Blue Sky hit Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! and Fox Animation’s latest blockbuster, Ice Age: Continental Drift. The screenplay is by Craig Schulz and the writing team of Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano. Craig Schulz and Bryan Schulz, who are Schulz’s son and grandson, will produce with Uliano.
Deal came after two years of rights negotiations with the Schulz family, culminating in a agreement announced by Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison. So much of the family film game is built around branded properties, and few family brands are as well known globally as Peanuts.