Cannes: 'The Extincts' Animated Film to Be Directed by William Joyce (Exclusive)

William Joyce - Cat People Screening- Getty-H 2017
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David Lipman will adapt the project based on British writer Veronica Cossanteli's middle grade novel.

An animated adaptation of British writer Veronica Cossanteli's popular middle grade novel The Extincts is in the works at the recently launched entertainment finance, development and production company Cirrina Studios.

David Lipman (producer of Shrek 2) will adapt the project for the big screen, with Oscar-winning filmmaker and author/illustrator William “Bill” Joyce helming. Lipman will also produce with Michael Siegel. Jane Startz and Barry Cunningham will executive produce alongside Jim Pesoli and Karine Martin of Cirrina Studios.

The Extincts follows the madcap adventures of George Drake, a boy who goes to work on a farm hidden deep in the woods where he discovers a hidden cache of extinct and mythological creatures, one of which escapes and terrorizes the town in which he lives. The novel was published by Chicken House/Scholastic in the U.K. and in the U.S. by Henry Holt and worldwide in translation.

Preproduction on the film is set to kick off in June, with an eye towards a 2019 release. The Extincts will be the first Cirrina Studios feature to start production at Dwarf Animation Studio in Montpellier, France, which was founded by CEO Olivier Pinol.

"Feature animation is one of the cornerstones of Cirrina Studios' broad ambitions,” Lipman, who is also president of production at Cirrina Studios, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to partner with Olivier and Dwarf; we’ve assembled an unbelievably talented group of artists and technicians to make a ‘studio quality’ film with a unique look and global appeal.

Joyce won an Oscar for best short animated film for his 2011 project The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. He has written and illustrated more than 50 children’s books, including George Shrinks, Santa Call and Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo. Joyce also has won three Emmys for animated series Rolie Polie Olie. He is repped by Michael Siegel & Associates.