DQ Entertainment, an India-based gaming and animation company, has launched a feature film division that will release animated films, starting with a new version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
DQE is making “The Jungle Book,” which has already started pre-production, in collaboration with Rollman Entertainment. Eric S. Rollman, CEO of that company, is the former President of Marvel Animation and Saban/Fox Family Productions.
"Everybody has a personal relationship with "The Jungle Book" on some level," Rollman told TheWrap. "It's exciting to bring a story like this, beloved by people around the world, to a new generation of viewers using today’s visual technology."
"Stories are meant to be told over and over. Great stories are told through different mediums and on different platforms," he added.
Jun Falkenstein (“The Tigger Movie”) will co-direct the $45 million stereoscopic 3D animated feature with Kevin Johnson. Falkenstein was a storyboard artist on “Despicable Me” and “9” while Johnson helped bring “The Iron Giant” to life. Billy Frolick, who wrote “Madagascar” will adapt Kipling’s iconic tale, which has been adapted for stage and screen -- both live-action and animated. Casting and distribution are the next steps in the process.
Tapaas Chakravarti, Chairman and Founder of DQE, will produce this project, set for a 2014 theatrical release. Pre and post-production will be based in Los Angeles while animation production will take place at DQE’s headquarters in Hyderabad, India.
Rollman, who has a longstanding relationship with Chakravarti, said the film would likely cost twice as much if it were made start to finish in the United States. However, thanks to DQ Entertainment's resources and skills, it can be made for less, making this the best and most efficient way to bring the project to life.
DQ Entertainment promises a “steady slate of motion pictures in the coming years based on iconic, universally beloved characters and stories.” Two projects are already in development.
Rollman described DQ as an Indian animation powerhouse, and saw space in the market for more great animation stateside.
"They really are the preeminent animation studio in India -- the biggest and the most prolific with a deep pool of talent," Rollman said. "This is the antural progression of where they are going. People flock to animnation movies as long as they are good and ours will be great."
DQE’s first theatrical feature was “The Prodigies,” an animated French science fiction film it made in collaboration with Onyx Films and Fidelite Films among others companies. Warner Bros. handled the property in France.
“Our commitment to animated features marks another major milestone for DQ Entertainment,” Chakravarti said in a statement. “By leading off our slate with 'The Jungle Book,' a classic and universally beloved story based in India, our home country, we’re making a bold statement to the industry – that DQE is committed to put the creative, technical and financial resources together to produce compelling, high quality animation for all distribution channels.”