IMAX (IMAX) and Imagine Documentaries Sign Five-Picture Agreement

April 21, 2021 1:28 PM EDT

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IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Imagine Documentaries today announced a new five-picture production and distribution agreement. The multipicture deal will marry IMAX and Imagine’s storied, award-winning leadership in premium filmmaking. The five-film slate is set to cover topics including space, exploration, natural sciences, music, civilization, society and more, and will be distributed across IMAX’s global network of institutional and commercial theatres. The first release will be “Mars 2080”, a large-format event film that will launch audiences into the future of celestial travel, immersing viewers inside a colony on Mars set sixty years in the future.

“Mars 2080” is directed by Eliza McNitt (“Spheres”), who co-writes with Lynn Renee Maxcy (“The Handmaids Tale”). The film is produced by Brian Grazer (“Apollo 13”, “Mars”), Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”, “Mars”) and Justin Wilkes (“Rebuilding Paradise”, “Mars”). Executive producers include Michael Rosenberg and Marc Gilbar for Imagine; and Kimberly Doebereiner, Vice President, Future of Advertising representing P&G Studios. Imagine Documentaries’ Meredith Kaulfers is co-executive producer. The film is scheduled to be distributed globally in 2022.

“The unique ability of humans to look past the horizon and into the great beyond has always been vital to pushing society forward, perhaps now more than ever. IMAX has always sought to immerse audiences in inspiring visions of the future. Now, with the incredibly creative minds at Imagine as our partners, and with the innovators at P&G for Mars 2080, we’ll have the opportunity to bring even more life-changing experiences to moviegoers all around the world,” said Megan Colligan, President of IMAX Entertainment.

“With Mars all over the news, the once-distant dream of humankind traveling there is now well within our reach”, said Imagine’s Justin Wilkes. “In the meantime, we hope that our film will inspire audiences from around the world, school children to adults, to take their own journey to Mars through the magic of this IMAX experience.”

“Mars 2080” is based on a concept by Stephen Petranek, science writer and author of “How We’ll Live on Mars.” The original concept follows a mother and daughter displaced from Earth by climate change, who make the difficult journey to Mars, adjusting to life with hundreds of thousands of people from different countries living together and forming a new civilization unencumbered by the mistakes of their past. P&G’s research scientists who are developing more sustainable manufacturing, products, packaging and technology for the future, will work with the filmmakers to creatively forecast what a Mars habitat living could look like a half century from now. The film will infuse real science and innovative technologies with breathtaking VFX and human drama to give audiences a realistic glimpse into the future.

McNitt is an Emmy® Awards Finalist and recipient of the VR Grand Prize at The Venice Film Festival. She created “Spheres,” a VR journey through the hidden songs of the Universe. Executive Produced by Darren Aronofsky, “Spheres” stars three generations of women as the voices of the cosmos including Millie Bobby Brown, Jessica Chastain, and Patti Smith. “Spheres” made history as the world's first ever acquisition of a VR experience out of Sundance. McNitt’s films and VR experiences have also appeared at SXSW, AFI Fest, Cannes NEXT, Tribeca, Telluride, and Venice. She is a two-time Intel Science Fair winner, Alfred P. Sloan grant recipient, and Gold Screen Young Director's Award winner at Cannes Lions.

Maxcy is an award-winning screenwriter, and most recently wrote on Seasons 1-3 of the Emmy-winning series “The Handmaid's Tale”, for which she won two Writers Guild Awards. Her interactive feature “The Complex” was released worldwide in 2020.

In 2002, Imagine Entertainment’s “Apollo 13” was re-released in IMAX, becoming the first 35mm live-action film ever to be digitally remastered with proprietary IMAX DMR technology. That IMAX and Imagine partnership followed in the footsteps of IMAX’s legacy of history-based films, beginning with the first IMAX film ever, “Tiger Child”, which debuted at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan. Since then, IMAX has repeatedly pushed the earthly limits of documentary filmmaking. In fact, IMAX® cameras have been sent into space 24 times – more than any human being. Documentaries using IMAX technology have also been nominated for Academy Awards® (“Fires of Kuwait” 1992) and traveled to the deepest parts of the ocean (“Journey to the South Pacific” 2013), while Hollywood’s biggest stars have repeatedly lent their voices to IMAX documentaries, including narrations from Tom Cruise (“Space Station” 2002), Jennifer Lawrence (“A Beautiful Planet” 2016), Kristen Bell (“Pandas” 2018), and Daisy Ridley on the IMAX documentary film, “Asteroid Hunters”.

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