British studio Locksmith Animation announced today a multi-year production partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Film (TCFF) that is expected to result in a new cg feature film release every 12-18 months. The deal’s first project has already been greenlit.
Locksmith, started by former Aardman exec Sarah Smith and Aardman producer Julie Lockhart, will develop and produce the films entirely in London using Double Negative’s pipeline. The alliance between Locksmtih and Double Negative was established in 2014, when Locksmith first launched.
Though Locksmith signed a deal with Paramount Pictures last year to develop animated features, the partnership with Fox is a more natural fit. That’s because the company’s principal shareholder (and third co-founder) is Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of TCFF. Elisabeth’s brother Lachlan Murdoch is the other executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, and her brother James is the CEO.