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Following the success of Shaun the Sheep the Movie earlier this year, French studio and distributor StudioCanal is linking up once more with British studios Aardman and four-time Oscar-winner, British animator Nick Park.
Announced Wednesday, Early Man will be a stop-frame feature directed by Park, who picked up BAFTA and Academy awards for his Wallace & Gromit series and Chicken Run.
Produced by Aardman, the film is being co-financed by StudioCanal with the BFI also on board as a partner. Sales will be launched in Cannes.
Marking Park’s first feature film since Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Early Man has been scripted by Mark Burton and John O’Farrell. The plot centers a plucky caveman during the era of dinosaurs and woolly mammoths who must unite his tribe against a mighty enemy.
“I’m very excited to be making this film with such great partners — StudioCanal and BFI,” said Park. “And with the support of the incredible team at Aardman — bringing this inept bunch of cavemen to life is going to be a hilarious adventure.”
Added StudioCanal CEO Olivier Courson: “I’m thrilled to partner again with the Aardman team. All of us at Studiocanal are such fans of everything that Aardman does we could not be happier than to be able to work on a Nick Park film with Aardman.”
The deal further cements StudioCanal’s concerted move towards family audiences. Shaun the Sheep the Movie has already grossed $54 million before hitting theaters in the U.S., China or Latin America. Meanwhile, Paddington, which StudioCanal fully financed, earned over $250 million and became the company’s most successful film of all time.
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