Oscar-nominated Shane Acker (9) will direct Reel FX‘s currently untitled CG animation, based on the Dark Horse Comics series by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. Darren Lemke (Turbo, Shrek Forever After) is adapting the Beasts Of Burden project, about a team of fearless four-legged “Watch Dogs” who investigate parananormal activities in the neighborhood of Burden Hill and defend their humans from the supernatural. Reel FX President of Animation Aron Warner will produce alongside Mike Richardson for Dark Horse Entertainment and Andrew Adamson for Strange Weather. The Dallas- and Santa Monica-based Reel FX is also at work on the Guillermo del Toro-produced Day of the Dead-themed Book Of Life, to be released October 10, 2014 by Fox Animation, and the Jimmy Hayward-directed Turkeys, in theaters November 14, 2014 via Relativity Media.
EXCLUSIVE: Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures has hired Focus Features executive Matthew Plouffe to be its new SVP Production. Plouffe, who has spent the past six years in the New York headquarters of Focus, will move to Los Angeles and start the job Oct. 1. Plouffe is currently Focus’ Director of Production and has worked on such Focus films as the Sam Mendes-directed Away We Go, Shane Acker’s 9, the Ryan Fleck/Anna Boden-directed It’s Kind of A Funny Story and most recently on the Lone Scherfig-directed adaptation of One Day that stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Plouffe wanted to move West, and the transition was done with the blessing of Focus Features chief James Schamus, who wrote and produced Maguire’s breakout film as an actor, The Ice Storm. “All of us at Focus have been blessed over the past six years to see Matt grow to become one of the smartest, hardest-working and kindest execs out there, and while we’re sad to see him go, he couldn’t have found a better opportunity than the one Tobey has offered. It’s great to see two of the smartest people in the business teaming up,” Schamus said.