'Croods 2' Finds Its Director (Exclusive)

The Croods Group Wave - H 2013
20th Century Fox

The Croods Group Wave - H 2013

Joel Crawford, who most recently served as head of story on Trolls, will make his feature directorial debut on DreamWorks Animation's The Croods 2, which is set for release on Sept. 18, 2020. Additionally, Mark Swift, who most recently produced DWA's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, is lined up to produce.

Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds lead the returning voice cast, as the Croods face their biggest threat since leaving the cave: another family. Additional castmembers include Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke, as well as Leslie Mann, who is joining the cast.

Croods 2, which was recently revived as an active project at DWA, is the follow-up to the studio's 2013 Academy Award-nominated caveman comedy, which was helmed by Chris Sandlers and Kirk De Micco and garnered $587.2 million at the global box office.

Crawford has been a story artist on such DWA titles as the Kung Fu Panda franchise, Rise of the Guardians and Bee Movie. This fall, he will make his television directorial debut with DreamWorks Trolls Holiday, which is set to air Nov. 24 on NBC.

A 20-year DWA veteran, Swift has produced such films as Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Bee Movie and Shark Tale, as well as the aforementioned Captain Underpants.

“Joel has done masterful work in his career and has proven himself to be an artist with a keen eye for character and story," said Chris deFaria, president of DreamWorks Animation Film Group. "His wonderful work at the helm of the DreamWorks Trolls Holiday as the director demonstrates his ability to expand his talents, and we think he’s the perfect choice to bring the Croods family back to life for audiences across the globe.

"We have a compelling story with fantastic new characters, and we are thrilled that Mark is going to be at the wheel for this film," he added. "He’s a talented producer and a great collaborator who is extremely well respected across the entire studio.”

Crawford is repped by Sandy Weinberg at Summit Talent and Literary Agency.