Activision Blizzard’s new movie and television division, Acitivsion Blizzard Studios, now has its second leader. Stacey Sher (left), who produced Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, and Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, will co-lead the business.

Sher has been nominated for two Academy Awards and has received an honorary doctorate from the American Film Institute (AFI). She was also honored by the AFI for her work on Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which was awarded Movie of the Year. “Stacey's uncompromising commitment to creativity and great storytelling is why she has been an amazing collaborator on the three films we have made together, and a cherished friend over the past 20 years,” said Tarantino of Sher.

Two Activision Blizzard Studios projects have already been announced. Skylanders will finally become an animated show, with the pilot episode of Skylanders Academy launching in the second quarter of this year.

Additionally, early work has begun on Call of Duty films. The first of these is anticipated for release in 2018.

Sher will serve as co-president alongside Nick van Dyk, who comes from Disney. For more on Activision Blizzard Studios, read up in our previous coverage.

 

Our Take
This is a good pairing, with van Dyk’s Disney background and Sher’s history of working on grittier stories. While gamers might be skeptical of how Call of Duty or some of Blizzard’s more serious properties might translate onto screens large and small, someone of Stacey Sher’s caliber should offer hope.

And as for what we’ll see from Activision Blizzard Studios, the company has a rich vault of intellectual properties to pull from. I’m hopeful we’ll be surprised not just by what we see, but how soon we see it. Not having to option rights saves both money and time.