Ladies and gentalmen, we just received breaking news of an absolutely exciting announcement from Reel FX!
According to an exclusive press release, Reel FX and writer/director Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life) have entered into a multi-year, multi-picture deal!
The first animated feature under that deal will be an ‘Untitled Kung Fu Space Western‘, which Gutierrez will direct from a script he’s writing with frequent screenwriting partner Doug Langdale. Brad Booker will return to produce the film, while Sandra Equihua will design the characters with Jorge. Like with The Book of Life, Jorge will work on the film in-house at Reel FX’s main studio in Dallas.
We even got a much clearer look at their future development slate. As the press release notes:
“The Untitled Kung Fu Space Western joins Reel FX’s growing development slate, a few of which are: Monster on the Hill, based on the book by Rob Harrell, written by Matt Lieberman; Giant Girl, based on a pitch by Reel FX story leads Bob Logan and Paul Fisher; and WISH Police, based on a short story by Daniel Nayeri, written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, with Headless Productions attached to direct.”
Steve O’ Brian, CEO of Reel FX said: “At Reel FX, we are building a home for creative filmmakers to bring their ideas to life. We are excited to partner with Jorge once again as we build on our success with The Book of Life.”
The plot of this deliciously awesome-sounding film centers around “one of the galaxy’s most charming outlaws, the leader of a funny, ragtag group of rebel bandits that are put on a collision course with a legendary villain to decide the fate of a galaxy.”
Jorge Gutierrez added, “Our heartfelt film will be a funny mash-up of some of my favorite influences: ‘90s Kung Fu films, Spaghetti Westerns of the ‘60s, and the epic Space Adventures of the ‘70s, ‘80s and today.”
Simply put, this sounds awesome. It’s very clear from this press release that Jorge’s sprawling imagination and talent has steered Reel FX in the right direction (away from the days of Free Birds). It also seems to establish Reel FX as the go-to place for ‘genre’ animated films, which is also absolutely fantastic. But now only two mysteries remain.
First, the displacement of several project that were previously announced to be in development, such as Beasts of Burden (with Shane Acker) and Monument 14 (their live-action feature). Then again, it’s possible that they are still in development; they were just pushed further down the slate. It’s also a possibility that a Book of Life sequel or two may be in the future for this deal.
Also, who will be the distributor? 20th Century Fox picked up The Book of Life for Reel FX, so there’s a fair chance that the distributor may come back for a second run. On that same token, if Fox happened to somehow be instrumental in building this slate, that will only lead further credence to the idea that Fox is slowly becoming a new kingmaker in animation.
On a final note, here’s the first concept piece from Jorge’s next film:
If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.
What do you think? Any thoughts about the announcement? Are you excited about Jorge’s new project? Are you looking forward to any of Reel FX’s other projects that are currently in development?
Edited by: Morgan Stradling