12:53pm PT by Andy Lewis, Borys Kit
'Rio' Director to Adapt Kids' Adventure Book by Pixar Artist (Exclusive)
Less than a week after former Pixar artist Armand Baltazar closed a deal for his debut three-book children’s series Timeless, the movie rights have been picked up by Fox.
Carlos Saldanha, the director of the animated Rio and Ice Age movies, is attached to direct what would be a live-action/CG adaptation. Ridley Scott and Michael Schaefer of Scott Free Productions and Steve Tzirlin are producing along with Brooklyn Weaver. Maresa Pullman, who runs Saldanha's BottleCap Productions, will executive produce.
Sources peg the deal in the mid-six-figures range.
The story is set in Chicago when a time implosion brings together people — and creatures — from the past, present and future. A boy sets out with his friends (who are all from different time periods) to rescue his father who has been captured by a Roman general. Publication of the first book is set for 2016.
Mike Pruss at Scott Free will oversee for the banner.
Baltazar left Pixar, where his credits included Cars 2, to write Timeless, which was inspired by the stories he told his young son Diego (also the name of the title character). He also worked at DreamWorks and Disney Animation with credits such as The Prince of Egypt and The Princess and the Frog. He is repped by Gernert, CAA and Energy.
Saldanha will also produce Timeless via his BottleCap Productions. The company has a five-year overall deal with Fox to develop live-action, animation and international projects. He is expected to make his live-action debut with Rust, Fox’s adaptation of the Archaia graphic novel series.
He is repped by WME and Newhouse Porter.