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SYFY WIRE The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Animation dominates as Netflix picks up Lord and Miller's 'The Mitchells vs. The Machines,' and Epic Games offers animation grant

By Matthew Jackson
The Mitchells vs. The Machines

In the wake of the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller began hyping another major animated movie project that would blend sci-fi and comedy along with cutting edge animation techniques. Now that film, The Mitchells vs. The Machines, is on its way to Netflix. The streaming giant announced Thursday that it has acquired The Mitchells vs. The Machines, previously titled Conected back when its first trailer dropped in March, from Sony Pictures Animation and is prepared to release it "later this year."

Produced by Lord and Miller and directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe (credited as co-director) from a script they co-wrote, The Mitchells vs. The Machines follows a family that struggles, as many families do now, with addiction to the various devices in their lives. When his daughter Katie (Abbi Jacobson) gets accepted to the school of her dreams and prepares to head off to college, Mitchell patriarch Rich (Danny McBride) decides it's the perfect time to reconnect with his loved ones, and proposes a family road trip to drop Katie off at college that will bond them as a family one more time. Of course, that's if they can survive the sudden robot uprising. 

"This is a very personal movie about my very weird family," Mike Rianda said in a statement. "I’m so grateful to all the incredible artists that poured their love and passion into this project to make it a reality, and to everyone at Sony who believed in us and were on board to make a different kind of animated movie. I'm so thrilled that everyone at Netflix has been totally in sync with us creatively and are just as excited about the movie as we are! Not only because it's an original story with a creative visual style that we're extremely proud of, but also so I can prove to my friends that this five-year journey wasn't an elaborate delusion on my part."

The Mitchells vs. The Machines also stars the voice talents of Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Blake Griffin and Doug The Pug. Look for it on Neflix sometime in 2021. 

Epic Games, the developer behind the massively successful gaming juggernaut Fortniteis devoting some of its resources to helping future animated feature films across the finish line. Deadline reports that the company has just used its MegaGrants program to help fund Gilgamesh, a new animated film based on the Mesopotamian epic.

The MegaGrant was given to HookUp Animation Studios, who've teamed with production companies FilmSharks and DuermaVela, all three of which are based in Central and South America, to make the epic animated feature. The film will be produced in both English and Spanish versions, and will follow the exploits of the title character. Tomas Lipgot (The Adopters) is set to direct. The project is not an Epic Games co-production, but rather a new benificiary in the $100 million MegaGrants program established by Epic in 2019, which aims to "provide financial grants to creative, noteworthy, and innovative projects built in and around Unreal Engine or projects that enhance the open-source 3D graphics ecosystem."

So, after blowing up the internet with one of the world's most popular video games, Epic is now using some of their financial might to boost ambitious new creative projects, including what will hopefully be a thrilling new version of the Gilgamesh epic. The film does not yet have a release date.

From Dusk till Dawn was already a substantial media franchise when co-creator Robert Rodriguez opted to make a television show based on it for his burgeoning El Rey Network back in 2014. At the time, the vampire Western directed by Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino had already spawned two sequels to the original film and a video game, but Rodriguez wanted more, and so we got three seasons of television that greatly expanded the vampire mythos surrounding the original film. Now, we're apparently getting an even greater expansion with the help of animation. 

Speaking to SFX Magazine to promote his new Netflix original movie We Can Be Heroes, Rodriguez revealed that he's working to create an animated series based on the action-horror property. 

“And now we're looking towards, we're developing an animated Dusk till Dawn," Rodriguez said. "You’re the first person to hear that!"

Earlier in the same interview, Rodriguez explained that the reason we got a From Dusk till Dawn live-action series in the first place was to keep himself and Tarantino in control of the rights to the characters and the world. His El Rey Network -- which airs classic exploitation films and television in addition to original programming -- was the perfect vehicle to make that happen. 

"Over here, I have my own television network [El Rey]. So I had a television network here. And I needed to create programming, so Quentin [Tarantino] and I still control the rights to it," he said. "So I went, 'Oh, wow, I'd love to expand the story of Santánico Pandemonium, and the whole Aztec vampire lore for my network."

Now, with three seasons of live-action From Dusk till Dawn under his belt, Rodriguez is looking to animation to continue the franchise. Unfortunately, he didn't offer any further details, so we're not sure yet exactly where the animated project will go or when we might see it, but if you love this particular breed of vampire lore, get ready for more.