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Disney's Meta Take on 'Rescue Rangers' Finds Its Director With Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer (Exclusive)

The animated characters are getting the live-action/CG hybrid treatment.
Inset: Akiva Schaffer   |   Photofest; Getty Images
The animated characters are getting the live-action/CG hybrid treatment.

Disney’s feature film reimagining of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers has found its director.

Akiva Schaffer, one-third of Lonely Island along with Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone, has closed a deal to helm the studio’s live-action/CG hybrid take on Rescue Rangers, featuring the classic chipmunk duo.

David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, who produced The Muppets as well as Beauty and the Beast for the studio, are producing the project, whose distribution path is unclear. It may end up a theatrical release or could head to Disney+, the company’s upcoming streaming service that is set to launch later this year.

Chip 'n Dale have been tormenting various Disney characters since 1943, but got a makeover in in 1989 with Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. The show saw Chip, the brains behind the pair, and Dale, the goofball, running a detective agency and helping animal clients. Disney made three seasons' worth of shows that then ran in syndication for the next decade on The Disney Channel. 

Plot details for Rangers are being squirreled away, but it will not be an origin story nor detective agency story. Rather, the take is being described as being meta, something self-referential and cool. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand wrote the script.

That meta take could prove to be the perfect match in the hands of Schaffer, who with his Lonely Island cohorts made classic digital shorts for Saturday Night Live, both as a writer and director. He also co-helmed the mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Stopping, the acclaimed Hulu comedy Pen15 and the off-the-wall sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson.

Execs Louie Provost and Jessica Virtue are overseeing for the studio, while Alex Young is shepherding for Mandeville Films/TV.

Schaffer is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham.

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