Dimension Films has acquired the rights to develop and produce an animated feature based on the cartoon character Opus, a penguin who first appeared in the first year of Bloom County in 1980. The project is the first film to come from the newly established first-look deal between Dimension and Storyopolis Productions.
Berkely Breathed, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the cartoon is attached to write and direct the feature.
Opus eventually appeared in a series of 11 cartoon collections, children's books and an animated TV special.
Breathed just completed directing an animated short film based on his book Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big. The film features the voices of Frances McDormand, John Cleese, Haley Joel Osment and a live action cameo from Jonathan Winters.
Fonda Snyder and Dawn Heinrichs, co-founders of Storyopolis, brought the project to Dimension as part of their first look deal. Michael Helfant, sr. exec vp, and Michael Zoumas, svp of development and production, will oversee the project along with co-presidents of Dimension, Andrew Rona and Brad Weston. Lori Sale, svp of worldwide promotions, will work closely with the production to coordinate a promotional and licensing campaign for the film.
Helfant and Andrew Gumpert, svp of business and legal affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of Dimension. Cliff Gilbert-Lurie of Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca & Fischer negotiated on behalf of Breathed.