‘Spider-Verse’ Director Rodney Rothman and Former MGM Exec Adam Rosenberg Form New Company Modern Magic

Animation and live-action production house kicks off with animated feature inspired by music of late rapper Juice WRLD

Modern Magic Rodney Rothman Adam Rosenberg
Courtesy of Modern Magic

Adam Rosenberg, former MGM co-president of production, and Rodney Rothman, the Oscar winner behind “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” have teamed up to launch a new production company, Modern Magic. The company will combine large-scale animated projects and live-action films to make “event entertainment” for modern audiences.

Modern Magic’s slate of feature films and series already has 20 projects in various stages of development, including original concepts and ones based on IP. Among them is an animated feature film inspired by the music of the late rapper Juice WRLD. “The Daily Show’s” Jaboukie Young-White is attached to write the script.

The company also has “Nuevo Rico,” an animated feature based on the SXSW award-winning short film by Kris Mercado, and another live-action comedy feature that Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary,” “A Black Lady Sketch Show”) is writing for Sony Pictures.

Modern Magic wants its projects to move fluidly between mediums, genres and platforms, and intends to work with creators of all kinds who can deliver “surprising, immersive and rich” storytelling. In a statement, Rothman added that animation does not need to be limited to kid and family audiences or confined to a 30-minute sitcom.

“Helping lead the team that made ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ was a life-altering experience that forever changed what I thought was possible. We’ve started Modern Magic to keep going and see what else a motivated, ragtag group of artists can accomplish when they take the leap,” Rothman said. “There’s a massive audience looking to see every boundary pushed; for that audience, anything is possible. It doesn’t have to look real as long as it feels real. And we know from experience how excited the creative community is about the opportunity to explore new mediums to express the emotion, artistry and humanity critical to 21st-century storytelling.”

“When it comes to animation, we don’t see ourselves as fortune tellers. We see ourselves as recognizing where we already are,” Rosenberg added. “Animation is a major source of creative and commercial growth, it easily travels around the world, and it is a driving force behind artistic breakthroughs in every medium. Our projects are designed to sit at the intersection of entertainment, culture, and technology, and what we do in animation feeds into our distinct take on live action.”

Modern Magic is producing the Juice WRLD film in conjunction with executive producers John Janick, Steve Berman and Tony Seyler on behalf of Interscope Films, and with Carmela Wallace, Peter Jideonwo and Lil Bibby representing Juice WRLD’s estate.

“Nuevo Rico” is set in a psychedelic future version of Puerto Rico, where a brother and sister stumble upon a secret that propels them to reggaetón stardom — but they soon discover their newfound fame comes at a deep price. The film is based on a short by Kris Mercado.

Rosenberg most recently served as co-president of production for MGM’s Worldwide Motion Picture Group, overseeing feature film development and production. He oversaw production of both “Creed” movies and is an executive producer on the upcoming third film, as well as Sylvester Stallone’s “Samaritan.” He also oversaw “Candyman,” “Respect” and “Bad Trip,” among other movies.

Rothman most recently co-wrote and co-directed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and he’s a producer and writer on films like “22 Jump Street,” “The Five-Year Engagement,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”


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