A new joint venture among high-profile entertainment industry professionals will operate a studio in Glendale to produce animated and hybrid animated-live action feature films.

Investor Haim Saban, film director Chris Columbus, producer Michael Barnathan and media entrepreneur Jeremy Zag, of ZAG Entertainment in Glendale will open ZAG Animation Studios. The Glendale studio will begin releasing two films a year starting in 2017 and already has a slate of 10 films in development, the new company announced Wednesday.

Saban is chief executive of Saban Capital Group, a Los Angeles investment firm specializing in the media and entertainment industries. Columbus and Barnathan worked together on two "Harry Potter" films. Columbus’ other directing credits include “Home Alone” and the “Night at the Museum” franchise.

Zag produces children and family films, television series and video games at studios in Glendale, Asia and Europe.

“After all of these years, it's fantastic to start a new venture that brings together talented artists from around the world under Jeremy's excellent leadership and Haim's brilliant international business experience,” Columbus said in a statement.

Saban Capital will coordinate the distribution and marketing of the films, while affiliate company Saban Brands in Los Angeles will handle licensing and merchandising.

“ZAG Animation Studios will deliver creative and compelling family entertainment for generations to come,” Saban said.

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