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Development news: Guillermo del Toro inks deal with DreamWorks Animation, Genius takes on Frankenstein author and more

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Dec 4, 2018, 5:15 PM EST (Updated)

Hey gang, we’ve got some exciting television and gaming development news for you, starting with some information on a new deal that Guillermo del Toro just signed.

That’s right, del Toro continues his winning streak as the Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water has just signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce, and direct animated family films for the studio. Del Toro has taken up offices at the Glendale campus as part of the deal.

“Animation is an art form that has influenced my work greatly since childhood. To me, it’s the perfect medium to bring to life any and all ideas, no matter how outlandish or wild,” said del Toro in a statement issued by the studio announcing the deal. “I am eager to work with the talented artists at DreamWorks to make these images a reality. I have worked with DreamWorks for about a decade and the horizon just keeps getting wider.”

Del Toro has had a long working relationship with DreamWorks Animation, having been creator and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation Television’s Emmy Award-winning series Trollhunters, executive producer for Rise of the Guardians, Puss in Boots, and Kung Fu Panda 3, and a creative consultant for Kung Fu Panda 2 and Megamind.

“We are thrilled that Guillermo is adding a film partnership to the already successful television relationship he has with DreamWorks Animation,” said Chris deFaria, president of DreamWorks Animation Film Group in the statement. “He is truly a one-of-a-kind artist, and we are eager to see his imagination on full display in the family animated feature space.”

In addition to working on film projects, del Toro will also work with deFaria and the studio’s many artists and technologists to develop new techniques for advancing storytelling on multiple content platforms.

This deal comes off the heels of del Toro and Fox Searchlight extending their relationship in a new deal covering “live action feature film projects to be written, produced and/or directed by del Toro,” according to a statement issued by the studio.

And remember, these deals followed the director winning the Oscar for Best Director for The Shape of Water, which won the Oscar for Best Picture. So, not a bad year for del Toro so far. Not a bad year at all.

It’s ALIVE! The third season of National Geographic’s scripted anthology series, Genius, will take on the life of pioneering science fiction and horror author Mary Shelley.

Showrunner, executive producer and writer Ken Biller will continue his role overseeing the new season. The third season will also once again hail from Fox 21 Television Studios and Imagine Television, with executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard along with executive producer Francie Calfo and producer Anna Culp. Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane are executive producers for MWM Studios and Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney are executive producers for EUE/Sokolow.

Mary Shelley authored the legendary novel Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus, while still a teenager. With Frankenstein, Shelley arguably invented the science fiction/horror genre. She then went on to create what some consider to be the first post-apocalyptic novel, The Last Man.

Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell

Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell

"Mary Shelley has inspired countless filmmakers with her tale of the wretch brought to life by science gone wrong, but very few have fully captured her insightful reflections on society in the myth she left behind," said Howard in a statement. “Showcasing someone like Mary Shelley and her amazing intellect, compassion and fortitude is exactly what this series is for, and we are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership with National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios."

The first season of Genius, starring Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, was National Geographic’s best performing new series launch ever. Its second season, starring Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso, premieres Tuesday April 24 at 9 p.m. EDT on National Geographic.

Filming for the third season is expected to begin later this year with a global premiere on National Geographic slated for 2019.

Finally, in gaming news, developer Platinum Games is working with mobile publisher DeNA to create its latest project—World of Demons.

Set in the world of Japanese folklore, World of Demons pits players and their Samurai warriors against a menagerie of monsters called Yokai. The visual style is inspired by traditional Japanese ink painting and woodblock prints. Check out the trailer below:

 Pretty cool, huh?

Players can gather an army of Yokai Minions that can be called upon for support during battle. Players can also choose and upgrade their Samurai, weapons, and Yokai Minions as they battle foes. This is Platinum Games’ first game designed for mobile devices.

World of Demons (Platinum Games)

World of Demons (Platinum Games)

World of Demons will be available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad this summer, with an Android release planned for later in the year.