Following the success of its Shaun the Sheep movie, Aardman is already at work on its next feature film, which will feature the return of a name well-known to the company.
First reported as a rumor by Cartoon Brew and later confirmed by Deadline, the studio will team up again with native distributor StudioCanal for a film titled Early Man. Directed by Nick Park from a screenplay by Mark Burton and John O. Farrell, the film will be a caveman comedy that will revolve around “the world’s first game of soccer.” StudioCanal plans to release the film in 2018. It will reportedly coincide with the 2018 World Cup.
The film will mark Nick Park’s first return to the director’s chair since 2008’s Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death. If the rumors are to be believed, Park will also produce the film with Peter Lord and David Sproxton. Also rumored is that Manchester United, the renowned British soccer team, will endorse the film.
Both studios plan to unveil visuals from the project at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for potential buyers. This is timely, given that Shaun the Sheep was recently picked up for an August 2015 release date by Lionsgate in the US.
“This is a very ambitious project, with a lot more characters than Shaun,” StudioCanal chief executive Olivier Courson told Deadline. “The film is not about football but it is an important component. Nick and the Aardman guys will come to Cannes. This is a very ambitious project for the independent market. It’s also extremely funny.”
With an estimated budget of $50 Million, Early Man is expected to play a major part in StudioCanal’s increased investment in family entertainment. It’s bolstered by the success of this year’s David Heyman-produced adaptation of Paddington, which opened earlier this year to universally positive reviews and grossed $258 million worldwide.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to Early Man?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes