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Cirque du Soleil Partners With ‘Aladdin’ Producer Rideback on Projects

Dave McNary

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is partnering with Rideback, producer of “Aladdin,” “It” and the Lego franchise, to develop movies inspired by the Cirque du Soleil catalogue.

The partnership, announced Tuesday, aims to leverage Rideback’s track record and increase the opportunities for a global audience to enjoy the Cirque du Soleil universe.

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“Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is synonymous with high quality entertainment, regardless of the brand or product category,” said Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. “For us, the movie business is a logical progression for ongoing portfolio expansion, and Rideback is the perfect partner to embark on this journey.”

The Canadian organization, founded in 1984, operates circuses and works on multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. It currently has 4,500 employees from nearly 70 countries. Cirque du Soleil bought Blue Man Group in 2017, VStar Entertainment Group in 2018 and The Works Entertainment Group in 2019.

“Rideback is known for its ability to penetrate the movie industry with quality content,” Lamarre said. “I look forward to the endless creative opportunities that will emerge by providing access to the immense Cirque du Soleil library of characters and storylines.”

Rideback enters this partnership on the heels of completing production on Disney’s upcoming live-action “Aladdin,” directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Will Smith, and opening Memorial Day weekend. Rideback’s “It: Chapter 2″ opens in September. It recently announced the Rideback TV Incubator, a writers-in-residence program formed in partnership with MRC.

“Cirque du Soleil has enchanted millions of people around the globe through soul-stirring artistry and journeys of the imagination that are Cirque du Soleil hallmarks,” said Dan Lin, founder and CEO of Rideback. “Their expansion into movies creates a one-of-a-kind, frontier opportunity to develop entirely new narrative features driven by the awe-inspiring worlds they have created.”

Sebastien Ouimet, who manages all content and distribution partnerships for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, and Rideback president of film Jonathan Eirich will oversee the partnership.

Rideback is located at Rideback Ranch, a creative campus in the Filipinotown area of Los Angeles that houses Warner Animation Group; writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Lord Miller; writer-director David Ayer and Chris Long’s Cedar Park Entertainment; actress-producer Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment; and animation studio Animal Logic.

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