1:00am PT by Alex Ritman
'Chicken Run' Sequel in Works at Aardman (Exclusive)
Almost 20 years after Chicken Run became the most successful stop-motion-animated film of all time (a record it still holds), The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Aardman Animations is officially working on a sequel.
Details of the project are scarce at the moment, with the movie not yet ready to hit markets. But THR understands that the U.K. animation powerhouse is developing the pic alongside StudioCanal, with which it has partnered on its most recent titles, and Pathe, which co-financed the original with DreamWorks Animation and distributed it in Europe.
Sam Fell, who earned Oscar and BAFTA nominations for 2012's ParaNorman and also helmed Aardman's Flushed Away in 2006, is attached to direct, with Paul Kewley (2015's Shaun the Sheep Movie) producing. Original writers Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge, Smurfs 2, The Spiderwick Chronicles) and John O'Farrell have been reunited to pen the screenplay. Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton are executive producing.
2000's original Chicken Run — Aardman's first full-length feature, which was co-directed by Lord and Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park — became a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic, grossing $106 million in the U.S. and amassing a global haul of $225 million.
Telling the story of a group of plucky chickens attempting to escape certain death at the hands of their evil farm owner and boasting a voice cast including the likes of Mel Gibson and Timothy Spall, the film was also critically acclaimed, with a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating alongside BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
Although it hasn't been confirmed, Chicken Run 2 will likely go into production at Aardman's studio in Bristol after it wraps on Shaun the Sheep sequel Farmageddon, which is due for release next year.
A follow-up to Chicken Run has long been discussed, with an online petition backing the idea launching last year.