EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc. have entered into a strategic partnership with Yasushi Akimoto’s Akimoto Project.
The first project under their teaming is developing the feature movie The Elephant’s Back with several television projects in development to be announced shortly.
Akimoto Project is one of Japan’s most innovative producers and creators with a long track record of creating hit content in a variety of fields. The Elephant’s Back is an adaptation of a book written by Akimoto by the same name. Jon Herman (Straight Outta Compton) is set to write the screenplay. The film is an original Yasushi Akimoto project for North America.
In Elephant’s Back, an elephant knows he will die soon and tries to instill in his son, Poppo, various wisdoms and to provide him the power to live. But Poppo does not understand “death.”
“We are excited about the opportunities and relationships that will be forged through this partnership with Mr. Akimoto and Akimoto Project LLC,” said Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. “Our goal in launching Westbrook has always been to tell universal stories that connect audiences no matter their background. We look forward to this partnership and the projects we are gearing up to create together.”
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“To strengthen our reach and continue empowering artists across the globe to tell their stories, it is essential that we focus on developing more content with international partners,” said Westbrook Inc. CEO, Ko Yada. “Asia and Japan’s influence on the entertainment industry is massive and we are excited to collaborate with Yasushi Akimoto and Akimoto Project LLC. to create content and give these projects a global platform.”
“How will the world change in the future? It’s not my job to try to predict the future, but there is one thing I can say. We are entering an age of doubt, where we won’t be able to take things for granted anymore,” said Akimoto. “Trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice is not a good method of business. In other words, we are in an age that demands new things all the time. Joining together with Westbrook is one way to shake things up. Why would Westbrook join with Yasushi Akimoto, and vice versa? The answer to that lies in the passion that each of us brings. I hope you will look forward to this new project.”
The projects that Akimoto will create for the global market will cover a wide range of fields, such as video, music, and live performances.
Westbrook was launched in 2019 by founders Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Miguel Melendez, and Ko Yada, as a premium film and television studio and vertically-integrated IP incubator, brand content studio, and production company. They are behind Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk on Facebook.
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