Special delivery! Kyungmin Woo’s Johnny Express is coming to America.
The animator, director, and writer leading the South-Korea based CG animation and vfx studio Mofac Alfred (formerly Alfred Imageworks) has signed a first-look deal with Illumination Entertainment, which has optioned the rights to Johnny Express and its future work. The goal of the creative partnership — the first such arrangement between a Korean studio and a U.S. film producer, according to Deadline, which broke the news — is to farm Mofac Alfred projects into potential feature films for Illumination, whose CEO Chris Meledandri sealed the deal after an Asian trip to support the launch of Minions.
The agreement fits in well with Meledandri’s philosophy of graduating promising short-form exercises into full-blown Universal and Illumination blockbusters. “When you’re making all this short-form content, there’s a lot of opportunity for artists to move up,” explained Meledandri during a keynote discussion at last month’s Annecy festival. “Making shorts is a fantastic bridge to making longer-form work, especially for us.”