Also revealed was J.J. Abrams involvement to be a co-producer on the film through his Bad Robot Productions at Paramount Pictures, apparently he is huge Samurai Jack fan.
I set up the lunch with no expectations. After all, Genndy had just come out of a multi-year relationship with George Lucas, and had set up The Orphanage Animation Studios to develop his own feature films; what could Frederator offer him at this point? But, on the way I realized there was an opportunity. I immediately called Jim Samples, then-President of Cartoon Network, and right away he agreed to a first in the network’s history, granting of rights to an independent production company. They would grant Frederator Studios the animated movie rights to the hit TV series Samurai Jack, as long as we agreed that Genndy would be intimately involved. Agree?!!! How else could we be interested?
Genndy was thrilled when I delivered the news. He’d been disappointed that CN and New Line Cinema had abandoned the project (both animated and live action films) and felt he’d let his fans down. Here was the chance to finish what he’d started, and reclaim a special set of characters he’d created.
Without going into all the details, the deals took forever (forever!) to close (in fact, some of them still have dangling participles) and by the time we announced the formation of Frederator Films in June 2007 surprise was awaiting all of us. J.J. Abrams, a huge Jack fan, had agreed to be my co-producer on the picture through his company Bad Robot Productions at Paramount Pictures. We knew that with JJ and his producing partner Bryan Burk we’d be in more than good hands and improve our chances tremendously of actually seeing the movie on the big screens.