Rainmaker exits Sly Cooper movie
Back in 2014, fans of a sneaky raccoon thief, Sly Cooper, were treated with news that the beloved PlayStation video game franchise would be heading to the big screen. Blockade Entertainment, Rainmaker Entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Film Financial Services and Jungsu Broadcasting Corporation were set to collaborate on a feature film due out in 2016. Well, 2017 is almost over and there’s not been much movement on it since. In fact, the movie’s official website now leads to an error page.
What happened? Three words: Ratchet & Clank. The same five partners behind Sly Cooper were also behind another theatrical adaptation of a PlayStation property. Unfortunately for those involved, things didn’t go to plan. Ratchet & Clank launched in theaters in April 2016. The film wasn’t well received critically, and commercially, it didn’t do any better. Produced on a budget around $20 million, Ratchet grossed a slim $13 million at the global box office – that’s a number before the theaters take their cut of the ticket sales.
Ratchet & Clank’s financial failure hit Rainmaker, the Canadian animation studio behind the film, hard. The company took a large loss on their $10 million investment in the feature. Shortly after, Rainmaker pulled the Sly Cooper feature from its production slate and moved it back into development. At this point the company had spent $300,520 on the project. Rainmaker’s president and chief creative officer, Michael Hefferon, told Playback in September 2016 that they’d “rethink timing, how we release and even budget numbers that we consider releasing films at.”
Late in 2016, Rainmaker merged with Frederator Networks and Ezrin Hirsh Entertainment to form Wow Unlimited Media. Kevin Munroe, who was attached to direct Sly and previously held that role on Ratchet, moved onto other projects.
Toonbarn has come to learn that earlier this year Rainmaker relinquished their rights to the property in exchange for $132,990 from the film’s other partners. The animation studio will receive an additional $200,000 if the film receives the green light from someone else.
It’s not all bad news for Sly fans, though. Earlier this year, PGS, Technicolor, Blockade and Sony Interactive Entertainment confirmed a Sly Cooper animated series was in development. Brad Foxhoven, founder and CEO of Blockade Entertainment, has stated that the company would like to see Sly hit the small screen first before another attempt at a theatrical film is made.