LOS ANGELES, CA. – March 1, 2016 – Sony Pictures Animation and WWE Studios (NYSE: WWE) announced today an animated sequel to Surf’s Up, the 2007 Academy Award® nominated action-comedy about surfing penguins. The companies are co-financing and producing the movie which is expected to release in 2017, in time for the original films’ 10th anniversary. Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania will be distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment with WWE Studios providing marketing support by leveraging its extensive multi-platform reach.
Cody Maverick, hungry for a new challenge, convinces an infamous big wave riding crew known as The Hang 5, voiced by WWE Superstars John Cena®, The Undertaker®, Triple H®, WWE Diva Paige™ and Mr. McMahon®, to let him join them on their journey to a mysterious surf spot known as The Trenches, where legend has it, they’ll find the biggest waves in the world. Cody soon discovers that the life he left behind might be more heroic than what any death-defying wave has to offer. Genndy Tartakovsky’s protégé Henry Yu (story artist on Sym-Bionic Titan and both Hotel Transylvania feature films) makes his directorial debut with this project, which is produced by Michelle Wong (production manager on Hotel Transylvania 2) and features computer animation from Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. Abdul Williams (Lottery Ticket) is writing the screenplay.
“We are thrilled to be working with Sony Pictures Animation to bring Cody Maverick back to audiences for more adventures, paired with our WWE Superstars in what promises to be a fun animated film for the entire family,” said Michael Luisi, WWE Studios President.
“WWE has a proven track record with family audiences, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them and dive back into the fun world of our surfing penguins,” adds Kristine Belson, President, Sony Pictures Animation.
About Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfsand The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies— with the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village in March 2017; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie (working title) in August 2017; the inspirational story The Lamb(working title) in December 2017; Hotel Transylvania 3 in September 2018; and an animated Spider-Man feature from the minds of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018. The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. In 2007, Surf’s Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the upcoming Open Season: Scared Silly on March 8, 2016, turned 10 in 2012. Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.
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About WWE Studios
WWE Studios develops and produces feature films, as well as television and digital content. Its diverse slate is released theatrically, direct to home, and/or across digital platforms, and is co-produced & distributed through partnerships with premier global entertainment companies. WWE’s film division, led by President Michael Luisi, is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. Previous animated films include Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, which paired WWE Superstars with Scooby and the gang and The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age SmackDown. WWE Studios recently launched genre label EREBUS PICTURES with KISS Icon Gene Simmons. Films from WWE Studios include The Call with Halle Berry and WWE Superstar David Otunga®, Oculus directed by Mike Flanagan starring Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff, and Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and WWE Superstar Wade Barrett®. Upcoming films from WWE Studios include Incarnate starring Aaron Eckhart and featuring WWE Superstar Mark Henry®, Brother’s Blood starring Trey Songz and WWE Superstar R-Truth®, Killing Hasselhoff starring Ken Jeong and David Hasselhoff, and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone starring Brett Dalton, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels®.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 175 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to entering into, maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television and pay-per-view programming and our new network distribution agreements; risks relating to the launch and maintenance of our new network; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete and acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to regulatory matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive and fragmented nature of our markets; uncertainties associated with international markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; the risk of accidents or injuries during our physically demanding events; risks associated with producing and travelling to and from our large live events, both domestically and internationally; risks relating to our feature film business, including anticipated release, marketing or involved talent for upcoming titles and productions; risks relating to new businesses and strategic investments; risks relating to our computer systems and online operations; risks relating to general economic conditions and our exposure to bad debt risk; risks relating to litigation; risks relating to market expectations for our financial performance; risks relating to our revolving credit facility; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family and the possibility of the sale of their stock by the McMahons or the perception of the possibility of such sales; the relatively small public float of our stock; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with WWE’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.
About Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.