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‘La La Land’ Songwriting Duo Hired for Blue Sky Musical ‘Foster’

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Pasek and Paul

[Joseph Marzullo/WENN]

Songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are at the top of their game thanks to their acclaimed works in the Tony-winning Dear Evan Hansen, the Oscar-winning La La Land, and The Greatest Showman. Their big success has now led them to the realm of animation, as Variety has reported that the duo has been assigned to write the songs for an upcoming animated musical project by Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios.

The film, currently under the working title Foster, is an original idea about a fanboy of a book series who seeks the author to express his dissatisfaction with the book’s ending. His actions then lead the two to be transported to a mystical world.

In terms of the crew, La La Land producer Marc Platt will reunite with Pasek and Paul to produce the picture, while Ferdinand co-writer Tim Federle will write the script. Directing duties will be handled by two Blue Sky veterans, which include storyboard artist Karen Disher (who was also the voice of Scratte in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) and The Peanuts Movie director Steve Martino. 20th Century Fox has scheduled the film to be released on March 5, 2021.

Under the supervision of Fox chairman Stacey Snider, Foster is the latest addition to the studio’s ambitious plan to expand on their animation output, aiming to release at least one animated feature per year. Snider has assigned Fox Animation production executive Andrea Miloro and Ferdinand screenwriter Robert L. Baird to be co-presidents of Fox’s animation division. The two will oversee both LA-based Fox Animation and Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios.

As part of Fox Animation’s plan, they will release the spy comedy Spies in Disguise in January 2019, an adaptation of the fantasy webcomic Nimona in February 2020, and Foster in March 2021, all three of which are Blue Sky productions. Additionally, Fox will collaborate with UK-based Locksmith Animation on a feature called Ron’s Gone Wrong, set for release in November 2020.

“We want to make movies that have complex and challenging themes, but also lean into the hilarious. They’re movies that have a bit of an attitude.” Braid stated about the studio’s ambition. Miloro also added that “Animation is one of the last bastions of original storytelling. We’re definitely on the hunt for original ideas.”

In regards to Foster, Braid said “We’ve tasked Pasek & Paul with doing a different kind of animated musical and to create something that’s never been done before. We want to make our characters sing in a different way.” Miloro desires the story to end up as “a heartfelt journey through this huge imagined world.”

It’s pretty exciting to hear about Fox’s plans in animation, as this sounds like a perfect chance for them and Blue Sky to stick out in the competition with a unique batch of animated features. Foster, especially in my view, looks to be in good hands with it’s original and intriguing premise, trustworthy crew, and an acclaimed songwriting duo who definitely know how to pull off some great songs. As long as the proposed Disney buyout of Fox doesn’t affect these films, then I’ll be greatly anticipating for what they will have in store.

Are you excited for Fox and Blue Sky’s upcoming output? Do you think an animated musical by Pasek and Paul could work well? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Karl Smith

Deep down in New Zealand, Karl "Karlamon" Smith is a Kiwi who is passionate in animation, seeing it as an artistic medium that expresses vast creativity and brings unique characters and worlds to life. Whenever an animation-related fact pops up, it will more than likely be cemented in his brain for a long time. Some of his favourite animated movies include Zootopia, Balto, Bolt, Over the Hedge, The Fox and the Hound, the How to Train Your Dragon series, The Iron Giant, and The Prince of Egypt. Prior to contributing to Rotoscopers, Karl has served as a bureaucrat on Ice Age Wiki, and a moderator/site builder/news reporter on Animation Source. Karl is also a Computer Science graduate who is now studying Digital Design in university. That, and with his additional fascination in aviation, he hopes someday to be both an animator and a pilot (if that is even possible).