Cinesite Takes Majority Stake in Andy Serkis’s Mo-Cap Production Outfit The Imaginarium Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

VFX and animation company Cinesite has taken a majority stake in Andy Serkis’s performance capture and virtual production outfit The Imaginarium Studios, Variety can confirm.

Formed in 2012 by the “Lord of the Rings” star, the studio boasts a “revolutionary” approach to mo-cap that includes industry-wide innovation and has seen it collaborate on projects including “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” and Netflix’s “Dance Monsters,” among other projects. The studio boasts facilities at both Pinewood in the U.K. and Trilith Studios in Atlanta, GA.

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Under the terms of the deal, The Imaginarium Studios will become a Cinesite partner company, retaining its culture, brand and facilities. CEO Matthew Brown will continue to lead the company’s staff.

The deal marks the latest collaboration for Cinesite and Serkis, who also runs production company The Imaginarium Productions with producer Jonathan Cavendish (“Bridget Jones’s Diary”). The two companies are currently working on a new animated adaptation of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” which Serkis is directing from a screenplay by “Storks” scribe Nicholas Stoller. Serkis and Cavendish are also producing the film alongside Adam Nagle (“Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank”) and Dave Rosenbaum (“Riverdance: The Animated Adventure”).

“The Imaginarium Studios and Cinesite are committed to delivering the best creative solutions for our clients,” says Imaginarium Studios’ CEO Matthew Brown. “Our partnership will be hugely beneficial to storytellers, creating a seamless experience for VFX, animation, virtual production and motion capture services. We are excited to bring characters to life and take content creation to the next level with our partners at Cinesite.”

Serkis said: “I could not be more proud to see the team at The Imaginarium Studios coming together with the hugely talented leadership at Cinesite, who have been incredible creative partners with me on ‘Animal Farm.’ I look forward to combining the talents of both companies to deliver creative solutions for whatever a project demands.”

Cinesite Group CEO Antony Hunt added: “The Imaginarium Studios is a fantastic company with an enviable reputation and we are proud to welcome them to our collective. Our new partnership will provide a further service-set to our growing customer base. The investment in the Imaginarium business strengthens our connections with the gaming industry and provides us with facilities in Pinewood Studios (U.K.) and Trilith Studios (Atlanta, GA) opening more opportunities for our dynamic group.”

The deal is supported by Cinesite’s banking group, led by NatWest Bank and Barclays Bank and new syndicate partner Santander U.K.

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