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India’s PhantomFX To Acquire Oscar Winner Phil Tippett’s VFX Company Tippett Studio

EXCLUSIVE: PhantomFX, an Indian VFX powerhouse that has worked on everything from The Avengers and The Walking Dead franchise to Outlander, is set to acquire a majority stake in Tippett Studio, the animation and visual effects production company of Oscar-winning filmmaker Phil Tippett.

Under the agreement, Tippett Studio will retain its name and continue to provide high-level VFX and post-production services to the major studios, networks, and independents. Tippett North America CEO Gary Mundell will stay on in his current role with a seat on the board alongside Cliff McDowell, who has now moved into the COO position for North America.

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Retaining his seat on the board, Phil Tippett will continue his creative involvement with Tippett Studio, working alongside his team and those at PhantomFX to develop standalone intellectual property. The transaction represents a strategic move for both partners, as PhantomFX looks to elevate its status within the industry by expanding into the western VFX market.

“The acquisition of Tippett by PHANTOMFX is driven by their strategic goal of establishing a strong presence in the highly competitive U.S. and Hollywood markets,” stated Mundell. “Although Indian VFX studios, like PHANTOMFX, contribute significantly to major streaming giants like Marvel and Netflix there remains a perception that India primarily offers technical support rather than creative input. By partnering with Tippett, PHANTOMFX aims to challenge this stigma and demonstrate the innovative and artistic capabilities of PHANTOMFX in the global entertainment industry.”

Going forward, Tippett Canada will continue to play a vital role for Tippett Studio, providing visual effects and storytelling services from north of the border. Additionally, Tippett Studio will continue to create and shepherd new, original film and TV projects from a roster of animation and VFX artists, including several exciting IPs from Tippett, through Tippett Productions, the Canadian-based venture launched last year alongside Ultra 8 Pictures. Offices for PhantomFX will continue to be based in the U.S., Canada, India, Dubai, and the UK.

In a statement on the Tippett Studio deal, PhantomFX’s Chairman and Managing Director, Bejoy Arputharaj, told Deadline that he’s “honored to collaborate with Phil Tippett, a legendary figure whose incredible contributions to iconic works such as Willow, Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers, Twilight Trilogy, and numerous other masterpieces have long been a source of inspiration for me.”

Continued Arputharaj: “I am immensely proud to align with such an innovative figure. This partnership will not only propel PhantomFX and its business endeavors forward, but it will also greatly benefit Tippett and its team. We are poised to bring substantial value to Tippett with PhantomFX’s extensive resources, unmatched capabilities, and sheer power. Our investors will also stand to reap substantial rewards from this partnership, as it will bring forth a wave of high-quality, high-budget, and ultimately more profitable ventures. We are confident that together, our partnership will open doors to many astonishing ventures, leveraging our collective expertise and pushing the boundaries of creativity. PhantomFX and Tippett Studios will redefine the standards of excellence in our industry and create works of art that will stand the test of time. The possibilities are endless, and I am genuinely excited about the journey ahead.”

Responsible for VFX innovations on iconic hits like Jurassic Park and Star Wars, Tippett is the visionary behind characters like Jabba the Hutt and the Rancor Monster in Return of the Jedi, the Tauntauns and Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back, the Raptor and T-Rex stop motion puppets in Jurassic Park, and the ED-209 from Robocop. Most recently, he wrote, directed and produced the experimental stop-motion horror feature Mad God, which premiered at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival before being released in theaters and on Shudder, earning two Annie Award nominations, among other accolades.

Other recently projects for Tippett Studio projects include The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian on Disney+, Locke & Key on Netflix, and Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

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