Executive vice president of Warner Animation Group (WAG), Allison Abbate, will be leaving her role after five years, leaving an opening for the top animation job at Warner’s feature animation division.
Abbate is credited with various producer roles on many of Warner Bros.’ biggest and most notable successes including animation co-producer on Space Jam, producer of The Iron Giant, and executive producer of The Lego Movie. She accepted the top role at WAG in 2017, after having returned from the U.K. where she produced the stop-motion features Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Corpse Bride.
Abbate gave the following statement to Deadline, which first reported the story:
Taking this position in 2017 was a great opportunity for me. The potential of animation at Warner Bros is second to none and we are home to some of the most iconic IP in the history of animation. I’ve learned so much and I’m proud of the movies we’ve been able to make, in spite of the pandemic and shifting marketplace.
Her departure was not unexpected after new Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav dismissed Abbate’s boss, Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich, a few months earlier.
Zaslav is in the process of reorganizing the company top to bottom, which has caused confusion about the future of various projects at the studio. What we do know, per changes that Zaslav announced in June, is that Warner Animation Group is now one of three distinct business units at WB’s motion picture group; the other two are DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures & New Line Cinema.
Adding an interesting wrinkle to her departure, Abbate’s husband Tony Cervone was a producer and writer on Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which WBD cancelled without warning earlier this month, despite the fact that the film was just weeks away from completion. The film was being produced through her division, Warner Animation Group.
Abbate’s most recent project at the studio was DC League of Super-Pets, which was no. 3 at the North American box office last weekend and has grossed nearly $110 million worldwide to date.
She is said to be pursuing a “number of filmmaking opportunities she has in the mix,” per the Deadline report.