'Kung Fu Panda' Director to Helm Animated 'Noah's Ark' Comedy

John Stevenson
John Stevenson
 AP Images

John Stevenson has boarded Noah's Ark.

Stevenson, who was nominated for an Oscar for directing Kung Fu Panda, will helm Unified Pictures' animated adventure comedy. The film is described as a reworking of the biblical tale from the animals' point of view, following an outcast aardvark named Gilbert who must leads a ragtag group of creatures to the ark in time to escape the flood.

Philip LaZebnik and Glen Dolman wrote the script. The film is currently in pre-production and is set for completion in 2016. It is being overseen by executive producers Cecil Kramer and Stevenson with Unified co-founders Kurt Rauer and Keith Kjarval.

Noah's Ark is the first animated feature for Unified Pictures. The company's production credits include the thriller A Single Shot, Clark Gregg's dark comedy Trust Me, and William H. Macy's directorial debut Rudderless, which premiered at Sundance in 2014.

The animated comedy is one of a raft of Bible-themed titles recently. It follows Darren Aronofsky's Noah, an epic take on the Bible story earlier this year. Other similarly themed material is the gospel-based Exodus: Gods and Kings from Ridley Scott and the Jesus bio Son of God.

Stevenson has previously served as story artist on Shrek, its sequel and Madagascar

"As soon as Kurt and Keith approached me with the idea of taking the classic tale of Noah’s Ark and telling a more personal story within the story, I jumped at the chance," he said in a statement.

He is repped by CAA.

Email: Austin.Siegemund-Broka@THR.com
Twitter: @Asiegemundbroka

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