PRODUCED BY ROB MINKOFF, ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR OF THE LION KING AND STUART LITTLE, AND YAIR LANDAU, BLAZING SAMURAI WILL BE RELEASED APRIL 14, 2017 NATIONWIDE IN THE U.S.
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 5, 2015 – Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the animated family film BLAZING SAMURAI – loosely based on the iconic 1974 film Blazing Saddles – and set April 14, 2017 as the nationwide U.S. release date. The announcement was made today by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films, Yair Landau, President and Founder of Mass Animation and Rob Minkoff, Founder and Chairman of Cinemation.
BLAZING SAMURAI is an action-packed comedy about a scrappy young dog named Hank who fights to save the town of Kakamucho from becoming the litter box of a nefarious feline warlord, transforming society and himself on his quest to become a true samurai.
Directed by Chris Bailey (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Mark Koetsier (Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon) from a screenplay by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper, BLAZING SAMURAI is produced by Rob Minkoff (director of The Lion King, Stuart Little), Yair Landau (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs) and Susan Purcell.
“BLAZING SAMURAI is a brilliant concept for a family film and is backed by some of the world’s most talented artists,” stated Tom Ortenberg. “We are huge fans of the work of the team behind this movie and could not be more excited about working with Rob Minkoff, Yair Landau and everyone at Mass Animation and Cinemation to bring this project to audiences.”
Yair Landau stated, “Mass Animation is thrilled to be working with Cinemation and Open Road in bringing our crazy vision of a blazing samurai dog in a cat world to theaters in 2017.”
“I’m very excited to see the hilarious BLAZING SAMURAI reach the big screen,” stated Rob Minkoff. “The exceptionally talented team of Chris Bailey and Mark Koetsier are the perfect pair to bring it to life. And I’m looking forward to working with Tom and his own team of samurai at Open Road.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Tom Ortenberg, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Elliott Kleinberg, and Executive Vice President of Production and Acquisitions, Peter Lawson. Emanuel Nunez and Adam Kanter of Paradigm negotiated on behalf of Mass Animation, Cinemation and the filmmakers, along with Harold Brown of Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown.
GFM Films is handling International sales and providing production funding.