Tag Archives: In Production

Casting A New Animated Tarzan



Constantin Film has announced casting of their pending production of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story of Tarzan. Kellan Lutz, late of the Twilight saga, has been cast to star as the title character. Spencer Locke, most recently appearing as K-Mart in Constantin’s Resident Evil movies, will star as the new Jane Porter.

Constantin Film’s production will be motion-capture 3D computer generated animation. Warner Bros. has also recently been making noise about an adaption of the classic story. All this despite the recent big failure of another Burroughs’ character over at Disney with their John Carter film.

Reinhard Klooss and Holger Tappe are co-directing the animated feature. Klooss also co-wrote the script with Yoni Brenner and Jessica Postigo, and is producing the film with Robert Kulzer.

Summer Production Date for Zig and Zag

Zig and Zag

Zig and Zag

Double Z Productions and Flickerpix are setting up for full production on their new series Zig and Zag, created by Ciaran Morrison and Mick O’Hara. Both CBBC and RTÉ are helping to fund the project alongside Northern Ireland Screen and the Irish Film Board. The IFB awarded Double Z Productions a production loan of €150,000 in their last round of funding last month.

Zig and Zag is planned to run at least 26 episodes. Each of the 11-minutes episodes is tailored to six to 12-year-old children will make up the shows core audience.The producers are now in the process of picking up distributors for worldwide syndication.

The TV series will follow twin alien brothers Zig and Zag who, after years of enjoying the finest trash-TV earth had to offer, decide to return to Planet Zog. However, after a disastrous space road trip, they crash land in the middle of humdrum suburbia. The lovable duo wreaks havoc in the suburbs with insane inventions, death defying stunts, invisible cats and robot supermodels.

The series is written by Zig and Zag creators Ciaran Morrison and Mick O’Hara who will also voice the characters. The series will be produced by Ronan McCabe for Double Z and David Cumming for Flickerpix. Joel Simon (Macropolis), creative director at Flickerpix, will direct the series.

Clements, Musker developing drawn Disney feature

Ron Clements and John Musker

Ron Clements and John Musker

Co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker are working to develop Disney Animation’s next hand-drawn feature film, an official division of the Mouse House has confirmed.

“Sorry, we can’t tell you what that is,” said Wednesday’s post, which came from the Facebook page of the highly secure Disney Animation Research Library. The now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t message had been deleted from the page by Thursday.

No further announcement has been made by Disney.

However, the Big Cartoon DataBase lists The Name Game as a “possible 2D animated film” directed and written by the pair, with an estimated 2014 release year.

Clements and Musker have co-directed The Great Mouse Detective (1986), The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992), Hercules (1997), Treasure Planet (2002) and The Princess And The Frog (2009) — the last marking a return to 2D hand-drawn animation.

Their first collaboration was on The Fox And The Hound: Clements was a supervising animator on the 1981 feature film, while Musker was an animator. Both provided additional story on The Black Cauldron(1985).

Clements’ feature debut at Disney was as an animator on 1977’s The Rescuers.

The Disney Animation Research Library houses over 65 million pieces of animation art produced by Disney’s Feature Animation Division over a period of over 70 years. The collection — housed in a location that’s secret to all but a privileged few — contains the world’s largest archive of animation art, ranging from conceptual design work to reference photographs.

On Sunday, Clements confirmed in an interview with Steve Hulett, business representative of The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE, that he and Musker are working on a new project with hand-drawn animation. He doesn’t know when it will be completed, as he says that it’s in early development.

Plans building for theatrical LEGO feature film

LEGO Movie

LEGO Movie

The first-ever full-length theatrical LEGO movie will open across the United States on February 28, 2014, it was announced Monday by Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Currently in production, the 3D computer-animated adventure will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from their original screenplay, story by Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman, Lord and Miller, based on LEGO Construction Toys. It will incorporate some of the LEGO world’s most popular figures while introducing several new characters, inviting fans who have enjoyed the brand’s innovative toys and hugely popular video games for generations to experience their visually unique LEGO world as never seen before.

Lord and Miller previously teamed on the hit 21 Jump Street and the 2009 animated comedy adventure Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

As yet untitled, the film will be produced by Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and Roy Lee (How to Train Your Dragon, The Departed).

Disney Drives Mr. Toad on wild ride to Movies

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

The House of Mouse plans to adapt “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” a theme park ride that started when Disneyland opened in 1955, into a live-action/CGI hybrid feature film.

The ride itself is based on Disney’s adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind In The Willows.

Noted commercials and video director Pete Candeland has been hired by the Mouse House to develop the film. Best known for his work with animation, Candeland also created and directed cartoon music videos for The Gorillaz. As well, he worked with Paul McCartney to create a cinematic opening to The Beatles Rock Band for Harmonix.

Tron: Legacy producer Justin Springer will produce the Disney adaptation. Meanwhile, the studio is searching for a writer to convert the story into a film.

A twisting, turning adventure, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride once was enjoyed at Walt Disney World in Florida as well. However, the ride was closed in 1998, replaced by The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh.

Disney has several theme park attraction-inspired movie projects in the works, including a version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea with David Fincher. Its Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction became a billion-dollar feature film franchise.

Laika Takes On Reeve’s Goblins



Stop-motion animation studio Laika Entertainment has put the grabs on Philip Reeve’s book Goblins for a possible new film. The British novel has yet to be released in the United States. Reeve also wrote the award-winning book Mortal Engine.

Laika Entertainment released the highly regarded Coraline in 2009, and has a summer release of a new stop-motion film ParaNorman. Laika grew out of the Portland studios of stop-motion pioneer Will Vinton.

Laika Entertainment has attached Mark Gustafson, the animation director of 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, to helm the adaptation.

The 3D, stop-motion animation pic will tell the story of a Skarper, a clever young goblin who lives among his ill-mannered bretheren in an ancient castle. Only he understands that an ancient evil is rising that will bring all manner of monsters and mythical creatures into an epic magical conflict.

No firm date has been set for release.

IFC heading “Out There” for 2012-13 season

Out There

Out There

At IFC’s first-ever Upfront event in New York, the network unveiled its 2012-13 original programming lineup, which includes a new scripted comedy, the animated series Out There.

Running for 10 half-hour episodes, Out There premieres next January.

Out There follows the coming-of-age adventures of Chad, his little brother Jay and best friend Chris. Living in a small town, the boys run face first into the wall of adolescence, the horrors of puberty, first loves, mortal enemies, local legends, and social ostracism. They experience the wonderment and frustration of that terrifying limbo between childhood and adulthood. Growing up is weird to do… out there.

Out There is created, written and executive produced by Emmy-winning animation director and produce, Ryan Quincy, who was the longtime animation director for South Park. The series is produced for IFC by 20th Century Fox Television.

Jeff Foxworthy, friends voice CMT’s Bounty Hunters

Bounty Hunters

Bounty Hunters

CMT has picked up the network’s first-ever animated project, Jayson Dinsmore, executive vice-president of programming and development, announced Wednesday during the network’s annual upfront presentation.

Executive producers Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy will voice characters on the series Bounty Hunters, scheduled to debut on CMT in 2013.

Lisa Lampanelli will also be a voice on Bounty Hunters, a hilarious tale about three friends and their two-bit bounty hunting business. The series is a production of Muse Entertainment and Parallel Entertainment.

“We’re in the midst of a bold, new era here at CMT with more record-setting series than ever before,” said Dinsmore. “We just closed our strongest quarter in two years, signed our first animation deal with the Blue Collar Comedy team and announced our newest slate of broad-appeal originals with some of the top producers and talent in the business. It’s a great time to be at CMT.”

Joining Dinsmore onstage in front of a small, invitation-only crowd at New York’s Museum of Arts & Design were special guests Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, executive producers of CMT’s upcoming series Cheer, along with series star and coach Patty Ann Romero. Top Viacom brass, including Philippe Daumon and Tom Dooley, were among the crowd, along with Viacom Music and Logo Group president Van Toffler and CMT president Brian Philips. The event closed with Republic Nashville superstars The Band Perry performing a three-song set that included their quadruple-platinum #1 smash single, “If I Die Young.”

So far this year, CMT has launched its two highest-rated series in network history, Bayou Billionaires and My Big Redneck Vacation. The network’s continued success crosses all screens, with original series streaming at an all-time high on CMT.com and triple-digit growth across social media. The network’s biggest show of the year, the annual CMT Music Awards, will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, June 6.

Monty Python troupe reunites for animated film bio

A Liar's Autobiography

A Liar's Autobiography

EPIX, the premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service, announced Monday that it is in production on A Liar’s Autobiography, a 3D animated feature film based on the memoir of Monty Python member Graham Chapman, who died in 1989.

Made in association with Bill and Ben Productions Ltd., Trinity (UK) and Brainstorm Media, A Liar’s Autobiography tells the story of Chapman’s life in the famously atypical Python style.

The film will be released theatrically in Britain by London-based Trinity. Its world television premiere will be in both 2D and 3D on EPIX and EpixHD.com next spring.

The EPIX original will feature recordings of Chapman that he made of his book in 1982. Premiering under the newly introduced EPIX Pictures banner, the film reunites members of the Monty Python troupe.

A plethora of animation companies are currently working on the film: Asylum Films, Made Visual Studio, Not to Scale, Treat Studio’s, Peepshow, Steven Lall, Sherbert, Superfad, Mr & Mrs Smith, Trunk, Cake, Arthur Cox, A for Animation, Tundra and Beakus.

“This innovative and modern take on Chapman’s comic genius is an exciting event, and EPIX is thrilled to premiere A Liar’s Autobiography in the United States,” said EPIX president and CEO Mark Greenberg.

“I had no idea until recently that Graham Chapman is in fact dead — I thought he was just being lazy,” said Monty Python’s Terry Jones. “However, I am now delighted to find myself working with him again on this exciting project.”

The feature is being produced and directed with that trademark Python humor by Bill Jones, Ben Timlett and Jeff Simpson of London-based Bill and Ben Productions, responsible for Who Killed Nancy, Rebel Truce – The History of the Clash, Chemical Wedding and Monty Python Almost the Truth: the Lawyers Cut.

“We’ve been working closely with the Chapman estate and the Pythons to make sure we get this exactly right,” said Simpson. “Graham would be delighted that his work is being reimagined in glorious 3D. He always loved wearing silly glasses.”

Executive producers Mark Sandell of Trinity (UK) and Meyer Shwarzstein of Brainstorm Media will distribute the animated feature in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.

The British comedy group Monty Python is best known for their TV comedy sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which first aired on BBC in 1969. The series was created, written and performed by Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

The troupe brought their comedy to the big screen with the feature films And Now For Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975), Monty Python’s Life Of Brian (1979) and Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life (1983). All combined live action with animated sequences by Gilliam.

The eccentrically told A Liar’s Autobiography was first published in Britain in 1980 and republished in 1999. The book gives readers a look into Chapman’s hilarious and touching life. He relates the extraordinary and surreal account of his more than eventful life — whether as mountaineer or medical student, actor or alcoholic, heterosexual groupie guzzler or homosexual coming to terms with himself.

As a celebrated member of the Monty Python team, his zany wit became familiar to millions of viewers worldwide. The New Yorker described A Liar’s Autobiography to be “required reading for Monty Python fans,” and London’s Evening Standard claims that it is “an intercoursingly good book… definitely not a present for your aunty.”

A loony yet sincere account, this story uncovers the complexity and reality of Chapman’s life. Chapman’s audio book was recorded and released in 1989 shortly before his death.