DreamWorks Animation Announces "Madagascar 2" (and more!)

According to a press release that just dropped into my inbox, the trio of David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Chris Rock are signed to appear in the recently green-lit "Madagascar 2," courtesy of DreamWorks Animation.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced today that the studio will produce a sequel to the computer-animated comedy ?Madagascar,? which has now passed the $500-million mark at the worldwide box office, making it the company?s most successful original movie ever.

Katzenberg also announced that Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith, who starred in the original ?Madagascar? as Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra and Gloria the Hippo, respectively, will be reprising their roles. He said he was looking forward to other original cast members returning to their roles for the sequel.

The sequel will once again be produced by Mireille Soria and co-directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath.

Speaking at the annual Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference in Pasadena, Mr. Katzenberg said, ?As a result of its tremendous box office success, the potential to tell a new chapter in its story and the popularity of the film?s characters, we are excited to announce that we are making "Madagascar" our second company franchise ? along with "Shrek." We will release a theatrical sequel in 2008.?

In addition to the sequel, DreamWorks Animation will be giving the scene-stealing ?Madagascar? Penguins the chance to take top billing in a direct-to-video release due out in 2009. The company has also produced its first mini-movie: a ten-minute film featuring the Penguins, which will play in theatres this fall alongside the studio?s main theatrical release: ?Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,? which opens October 7th in theaters nationwide.

?Madagascar? opened on May 27 and generated a domestic box office of approximately $192 million. It continues to perform extremely well internationally, and currently ranks as one of the top five computer-animated movies of all time.

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