Sony Pictures Animation To Develop Chris Grine's Chickenhare With Dark Horse Entertainment

CULVER CITY, CA - July 20, 2011 - Sony Pictures Animation and Dark Horse Entertainment will develop an animated feature film based on the Dark Horse graphic novel series CHICKENHARE by Chris Grine, it was announced by Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, president of Sony Pictures Animation.

CHICKENHARE is the story of a unique animal that is half chicken, half hare and all hero. The eponymous graphic novels in which Chickenhare was introduced, originally published in 2006 and 2008 by Dark Horse, follow him and his shelled sidekick, Abe, on their adventures in an amazing fantasy world filled with monstrous creatures, demonic critters, and danger lurking around every corner. The two pick up a few more friends and a few more problems, all while exploring themes of identity, family, and friendship.

Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg will executive produce on behalf of Dark Horse Entertainment. Michael Lachance will oversee the project for Sony Pictures Animation with president of production Michelle Raimo-Kouyate.

"Sony Pictures Animation is always looking for original characters, and Chickenhare is a true original," says Michelle Raimo-Kouyate. "This story has everything we want in an animated film — broad comedy, heartfelt emotion, universal themes, and a one-of-a-kind hero that audiences will love."

"Chris Grine's Chickenhare is one of the quirkiest characters we've ever published," said Dark Horse president Mike Richardson. "We're excited that the good people at Sony Pictures Animation responded so enthusiastically to what has to be one of our greatest comics-to-film projects yet. The more animated movies I see, the more I want to make them, and in Chickenhare we found a character so colorful and three-dimensional that he could only exist in an animated world."

Dark Horse Entertainment is represented by WME and Gotham Group, with legal representation by attorney Keith Fleer.

In addition to CHICKENHARE, Chris Grine is the creator of 165 Bots with Stuff, which were featured on the Shoebox blog. He graduated from Ringling School of Art & Design in 2000 after completing 3 years at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its 2009 worldwide hit, the mouth-watering 3D comedy CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, and the 2007 Academy Award®-nominated SURF'S UP with a full slate of feature films including the live-action/animation hybrid film THE SMURFS (3D) and the family comedy HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (3D). The division is also in production with Aardman Animations on two feature films, the CG-animated family comedy ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (3D) and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (3D). OPEN SEASON 3, the third adventure in Sony Pictures Animation's successful OPEN SEASON franchise, was released on DVD and Blu-ray in January 2011. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.

ABOUT DARK HORSE Dark Horse Comics was founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson as an offshoot of his Oregon comic-book retail chain, Things From Another World. Richardson pursued the idea of establishing an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals, and twenty-five years later the company has grown to become the third-largest comics publisher in the United States.