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'Open Season 2' going straight to DVD

Posted Friday, September 7, 2007 at 10:54 AM Central

by Tim Briscoe

Variety reports that a sequel to 2006's successful animated movie Open Season will soon start production. Furthermore, Sony Pictures will skip a theatrical release and premiere the movie on DVD.

Sony is reportedly still in talks with voice actors Ashton Kutcher (Elliot the mule deer) and Martin Lawrence (Boog the grizzly bear) to return for the sequel. It's uncertain if their characters will even appear in the follow-up. The sequel will focus on supporting character Mr. Weenie, a dachshund voiced by animator Cody Cameron.

This film continues the trend amongst Hollywood studios of releasing direct-to-DVD sequels to popular franchises. Live-action follow-ups Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, American Pie Presents: Band Camp, and The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning have all met with success as DVD premieres.

Film buffs might recall that Pixar classics Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. were originally planned as direct-to-video releases. Disney execs subsequently changed their minds and brought them to theaters to considerable critical and commercial success.

As Slash Film recalls, Pixar's John Lasseter recently convinced Disney that their substandard direct-to-DVD sequels like Bambi II and Cinderella III, were hurting the studio and the original films' legacies. Thirty million dollars worth of work on a Tinkerbell movie was shelved as a result.

Open Season 2 is tentatively scheduled for a 2009 DVD release.

Source: Variety