'Gnomeo and Juliet' Filmmaker Penning 'Pooch Cafe' for Sony Pictures Animation

Kelly Asbury - P 2011
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Kelly Asbury will adapt the feature based on the "Paul Gilligan" comic strip.

Kelly Asbury, the director and co-writer of Gnomeo and Juliet, has been hired to write the adaptation of Pooch Café for Sony Pictures Animation.

The CG-feature is based on the acclaimed syndicated comic strip by Paul Gilligan centering on Poncho, who according to the studio, is a “cheese-loving, squirrel-fearing, toilet-drinking mutt who joins his canine friends at the Pooch Café, a neighborhood hangout where dogs can be dogs – comparing notes on such weighty issues as avoiding baths, zebra-flavored kibble, and the construction of a giant catapult with which to hurl all the Earth?s cats into the Sun.”

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“Kelly?s wit and cinematic sensibility pairs wonderfully with the irreverent characters and wry comedy in the Pooch Café comic strip,” said SPA president Michelle Raimo-Kouyate in a statement. “We?ve been looking for something to do with Kelly, and this was a perfect match.”

Gil Netter, Bridget McMeel and John Glynn are exec producing.

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SPA is riding high off the surprise success of The Smurfs, which has grossed almost $520 million worldwide.

Asbury is an old hand in the animation world. He co-directed Shrek 2 as well as Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, but his involvement in the field goes back to being a writer on Disney’s 1991 classic, Beauty and the Beast. He also worked on The Little Mermaid, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Kung Fu Panda.

Asbury is repped by UTA and NewhousePorterHubbard.