According to Variety, Carlos Saldanha has been tapped by 20th Century Fox to direct Timeless, an Live-Action/CG adaptation of the sci-fi/fantasy trilogy of children’s books by Armand Baltazar, a former artist and Senior Designer for Pixar. With Ridley Scott set to produce the project under his Scott Free Productions banner, Saldanha will helm the first film, which holds the possibility of becoming a new tentpole franchise for Fox.
Carlos Saldanha is best known for being one of the central figures of Blue Sky Studios, having been a part of the company since the beginning. He co-directed the first Ice Age and Robots before going on to direct the next two Ice Age installments. All the while, he was developing a passion project that would utilize and celebrate the culture and landscape of Brazil, specifically Saldanha’s childhood town of Rio de Janeiro. That project would of course go on to become Rio, with its sequel having bowed this year. Now, like quite a few of his other contemporaries, he is looking to break into the world of live action. It’s a prospect that, according to this latest news, may happen sooner than we think.
The book series, set to debut its first novel in the fall of 2016, takes place in Chicago after a “time collision” throws together the past, present, and future. The story follows young boy named Diego who goes on a journey to rescue his father from a Roman general with the help of his friends (who all come from different time periods).
This news comes a week after Baltazar sold the book trilogy to Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of book publisher HarperCollins. A fan of classic adventure stories like Treasure Island, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones, Baltazar got the idea for the series from the stories he invented for his son, Diego, who served as the inspiration for the main character (they do share the same name).
Interestingly enough, the mishmash of time periods was created as a metaphor for the diverse melting pot landscape of present-day America. Essentially the story, in his words, “was born in part to show my son a hero who was like him and had friends that came from unique places,” he explains. “Together they find value in their differences and they use that in their quest to save their families — and eventually their place in this fantastically changed world. It’s an underlying theme to the adventure: cultures from [different] times and places [co-]existing, … struggling to save their world from those that would change it back.”
Saldanha will produce the film though his Fox-based production company, BottleCap Productions.
BottleCap was formed by Saldanha to house both live-action and animated projects that he will develop under an exclusive five-year deal that he signed with Fox back in 2012.
While he has yet to prove his talents in directing live-action, Fox seems to have utmost confidence in him, at least judging from the number of high-concept projects he’s has in the works. He also has another live-action project, which is an adaptation of Royden Lepp’s graphic novel Rust. In the world of animation he also plans to direct an adaptation of The Story of Ferdinand as well as an adaptation of the illustrated fantasy novel Alienology, both of which will be made with Blue Sky.
While the dates for Rust and Timeless haven’t been set, Saldanha does intend to make Rust before moving on to Ferdinand, so it’s possibility that Timeless may get developed further down the road.
What do you think? Are you excited for any of Saldanha’s upcoming projects?
(Images courtesy of www.armandbaltazar.com)