Thompson on Hollywood

John Williams' Vanguard Films has inked an overall producing and directing deal with John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) and formed a financing and distribution alliance with former president of Lakeshore International Peter Rogers' new company Moviemill.

Up first for Stevenson is CGI/live-action hybrid Alien Rock Band, about a garage band in outerspace competing at an Intergalactic Battle of the Bands. Next is CG-animated Rotten Island, from Shrek author William Steig's book about an island where monsters reign until a flower changes everything. (People magazine writes: "Not since Maurice Sendak’s 'Where the Wild Things Are' has there been such a glorious nightmare of a book.”) Among the producing projects for Stevenson and Williams: animated film Buzby and live-action martial-arts adventure City of Dragons and fantasy adventure Atomic Circus.

Rogers, whose time at Lakeshore International included the success of Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby, says:

"I can't imagine a better pairing than the prowess of the Vanguard production team and the creative and technical firepower of a filmmaker such as John Stevenson. They are a great match.”