Reel FX has teamed with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Puss in Boots, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth) to produce a groundbreaking CG-animated film with Day of the Dead as its working title, the company announced Tuesday.
Del Toro will also present the film, directed by Emmy Award winner Jorge R. Gutierrez (El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera). The film is being penned by Gutierrez and Emmy Award nominee Doug Langdale. Reel FX will produce alongside Aaron Berger and Carina Schulze of Chatrone, Inc.
Day of the Dead is scheduled to be released in fall 2014.
The film is an action-packed, fully CG-animated picture, with a Romeo and Juliet-style love story set against a Mexican “Day of the Dead” backdrop. It represents the first time in almost 20 years — since 1993’s Cronos — that del Toro has collaborated on a feature project set in Mexico.
Music is also integral to the story; the film will feature an international roster of A-list recording artists performing new songs, as well as reimagined iconic songs. Reel FX’s Brad Booker brought Day of the Dead to the studio, and is the development executive on the project.
“We’re thrilled to have Guillermo on board for Day of the Dead,” said Booker. “As individuals, Guillermo and Jorge share a cultural background and love for Mexican folklore, which brings a palpable authenticity to our project; however, as artists, each brings to the picture a vastly different aesthetic sensibility. Working together for the first time, we feel that they bring a truly unique balance to the style and story of the film.”
Notes del Toro: “I have admired Jorge’s work for a long time. He has a unique aesthetic and sense of humor.
“Day of the Dead offers a perfect opportunity for his sensibilities to shine. This is a colorful, vibrant, vital fable that utilizes the animation medium in an incredible way. The object of the tale is not only to talk about life, but to dazzle us — jolt us — into living to the fullest. To join Reel FX, Cary Granat and Jorge in this adventure is a privilege and a joy.”
In addition to Day of the Dead, Reel FX has secured and is actively developing multiple CG-animated and effects-driven, live-action projects. Projects underway include an animated feature adaptation of the Dark Horse graphic novel Beasts of Burden, produced by Andrew Adamson (Shrek) and Aron Warner; and Turkeys, the studio’s CG-animated comedy directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!).
The studio also recently collaborated on the production of Cirque du Soleil’s 3D film Worlds Away, written and directed by Andrew Adamson, and executive produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron (Avatar). Cary Granat and Ed Jones served as producers on the project for Reel FX. Worlds Away is currently in post-production and set to debut late this year from Paramount Pictures.