April 6, 2009 / 5:37 AM / 9 years ago

Film world jumping for Easter Bunny

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Easter is becoming the new battleground for studios as two competing projects featuring the Easter Bunny go head to head.

Sony Animation is pre-emptively picking up “Hip Hop,” in which the Easter Bunny decides to retire and hides out as a pet with a suburban family, turning their lives upside down. The tone is being described as along the lines of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “The Santa Clause.”

The plan is to make the movie using a mix of computer-generated imagery and live-action. The studio picked up the rights from writers Greg Ostrin and Michael Weiss for mid-six figures. Weiss’ credits include the Brendan Fraser remake of “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

The deal happened at the same time that Illumination Entertainment, the Universal-based shingle with a history in animation, purchased “I Hop” to act as its first live-action picture. In “I Hop,” the Easter Bunny is hit by a car driven by a slacker. When the bunny can’t hop because his leg is broken, the driver must train to take over the job and save Easter.

Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio wrote the script; they previously wrote “Despicable Me,” Illumination’s animated project being voice by Steve Carell, Jason Segel and Kristen Wiig.

Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters

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