As fun as the ongoing onslaught of award season coverage has been (especially considering today’s Oscar news), we now switch gears to a news update concerning the state of a certain mystery project at DreamWorks.
Me & My Shadow has been the subject of speculation and interest ever since it was pulled from DreamWork’s official release schedule. Now a recent report from FilmDivider (and later picked up by Den of Geek) seems to suggest that the project is still alive and in a state of development. But before we dive in, a word of caution: these reports (and the concept art accompanying them) seem to be coming from unconfirmed sources. So until we get further confirmation or any clarification from an official source, PLEASE take all of this information with a grain of salt.
An ambitious project that would have seen hand-drawn animation weaved into a CG environment, Me & My Shadow was supposedly thought dead by many when DreamWorks had it yanked off its feature release schedule. And even though the project isn’t anywhere on its scheduled dates for the foreseeable future, FilmDivider tells us that work on the film was seemingly still underway as of the last couple months of 2014.
CGI Meets 2D
As further evidence of this development, they gave us a batch of never-before-seen concept art. Here’s the first one (taken from Tumblr):
It’s smaller compared to the rest, but it gives us a good taste of how the 2D/CG worlds would interact with each other (we have an even better example coming up later).
Next up, we have concept pieces of the three main characters from the film (Stanley the Man, Heidi the Woman, and an unnamed character):
Let’s talk about the actors for a bit. When this film was first announced back in 2012, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, and Kate Hudson were originally attached for the voices of Stanley the Man, Stan the Shadow, and Heidi the Woman respectively. Tom Hiddleston was later linked to the role of an evil shadow, the main antagonist of the film.
Of course, this was before Josh Gad would go on to achieve A-list status due to his breakout performance as Olaf the snowman in Frozen. Bill Hader himself would go on to lend his voice to multiple animated films, and is currently set for roles in this year’s The Good Dinosaur and two 2016 animated films (Sausage Party and Angry Birds).
It’s currently unknown at this moment whether or not any of them are still attached. At the time of the film’s announcement, Josh Gad posted updates about the film to his Instagram. They have since been deleted, but a picture of his copy of the shooting script still remains:
Notice that there’s a picture of what appears to be a scene from the movie (or at least concept art depicting a scene from the movie). A bigger and better-quality version of that image can now be seen here:
Next up is some environmental concept pieces. Notice how more emphasis has been placed on lighting and shadow than usual (click image for larger view):
And then we have what appears to be a pencil test for the film in GIF form. Created by animator William Salazar, this was supposedly drawn to highlight how the rules for the human (CG) and shadow (2D) characters will diverge. It also shows how Stan the Shadow will be able to exert some control over Stanley the Human.
To top it all off, we have an extensive plot description of the movie coming directly from the same fan-made Tumblr above. MASSIVE SPOILERS for anyone who’s still optimistic about the film’s chances:
The concept of the movie is that there is a secret world for shadows. The main shadow, Stan, is attached to the world’s most boring man, Stanley Grubb. When an unknown shadow commits a crime that gives shadows the ability to take control of their human, Stan is the only one that finds out. So to prevent Stanley’s life from getting endangered, him and Stan go on an adventure throughout the shadow world to investigate who did it. Along the way, they meet other shadows that help them along the journey. One of those shadows are a shadow flashlight named, Wesley, who is said to be Stan’s friend in the shadow world. Also along the journey, Stanley and Stan must face off against dangerous shadows who most likely works for the evil shadow who committed the crime.
Heidi is the love interest for Stanley. At one point in the movie, they go on a date. The picture of their date is posted, it’s the one when Stanley’s tie is in his cup of tea. When the villain is exposed, he traps Stanley and Stan, and the shadow villain and all the shadows all head out to the human world to cause mayhem and turn the humans into shadows. Stanley and Stan must find a way to escape the shadow world and save the world.
To reiterate, Me & My Shadow won’t get an official release for the foreseeable future. But then, the film is still alive (if the report is true) and since DreamWorks’ feature film devision just recently got a sizable shift in management, perhaps there is still some hope for this project after all.
What do you think of info and concept art for Me & My Shadow? Do you believe the report? And if you do, do you like what you see so far?