Warner Bros. Animation Gets in on the Funko Fandom with Plans for a Feature Film

     September 16, 2019


Warner Bros. is about to go full Funko as the studio has optioned movie rights to the fan-favorite toy and collectible company. WB’s animation wing Warner Animation Group, along with Funko, will develop and produce a film that will be based on the big-headed figures. It’s the next step in a nearly 20-year partnership between the companies that has seen the production of plenty of officially licensed products from Warner Bros.’ lines, like DC Comics, Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo and more. No details as to the plot of the Funko film, the characters who might appear in the feature, or any ideas as to the timeline have been revealed, but some of the creative team members behind the scenes have been announced.

Deadline reports that Warner Animation Group’s Executive VP Allison Abbate will be managing the partnership between the two entities; Abbate highlighted Funko’s “fresh take on pop culture” in a statement. Teddy Newton (Day & Night, Jack-Jack Attack) will be writing up the story while Mark Dindal (The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little) is onboard to direct.

funko-movie-warner-bros-animationHere’s what Funko CEO Brian Mariotti had to say about the deal:

“We’re thrilled for this opportunity and are committed to make an amazing Funko movie that stands on its own merit. This isn’t about selling toys or building a brand. The team at Warner Animation Group have a unique vision of what the first film should be and we are extremely excited to take this journey alongside them.”

But yeah, it’s still all about selling toys and building a brand while also developing a new movie; you can do both and still be successful. Warner Bros. has managed to do just fine for a time with their animated LEGO feature and small-screen franchise, though it’s tapered off a bit in recent years. Funko could very well be the next big thing for them. And while I personally hope they’ll go beyond the tried-and-true adaptations of all things DC Comics and Harry Potter, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see Funko-versions of these properties in the future. Marvel Animation managed to do something similar with their own delightful animated shorts, so time will tell if they happen to have any feature-film plans in mind.

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