Cannes: Focus Nabs Video Game Movie 'Ratchet & Clank' for U.S. (Exclusive)
The CG-animated film, featuring the voices of Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne and Sylvester Stallone, also is set for release in 2016.
Focus Features has acquired U.S. rights to Ratchet & Clank, a CG-animated feature film based on the popular PlayStation video game. The release date has been set for April 29, 2016.
As THR exclusively reported earlier Wednesday, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Sylvester Stallone and Rosario Dawson will voice star in the film.
Additionally, voice talent from the original video game franchise including James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet; David Kaye as Clank; Armin Shimerman as Nefarious; and Jim Ward as Captain Qwark, will reprise their roles in the feature film.
The original Ratchet & Clank video game was released in 2002 on PlayStation 2. There are now more than a dozen games in the series. The film follows the two unlikely heroes (a foolhardy “lombax” and a pint-sized robot) as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. When the duo stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team a group called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy.
Ratchet & Clank is directed by Kevin Munroe (TMNT), and co-directed by Jericca Cleland. Munroe contributed to writing the script, with an original draft by former Insomniac Games writer TJ Fixman.
The project is produced by Blockade CEO Brad Foxhoven and vp development David Wohl along with Rainmaker’s senior vp production and operations Kim Dent Wilder. Michael Hefferon is exec producing. The feature, which has already been sold in more than 25 territories by Cinema Management Group (CMG), will be screening for international distributors in Cannes. Film Financial Services, which organized co-financing for the film, will arrange P&A financing.
Co-financing was arranged by David Sheldon’s Seattle based Film Financial Services and includes Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. as the lead investor along with China’s CNHK (backed by Wang Sicong’s Prometheus Capital) and Cinema Management Group.
“The collaborative relationship between Rainmaker Entertainment, PlayStation, Insomniac Games and all of our partners has helped us to bring this massive game franchise to the big screen,” said Rainmaker Entertainment’s president and CCO Michael Hefferon: “Our outstanding celebrity talent, together with the original voices from the game really bring these characters to life, and we are confident that Ratchet & Clank will delight fans with its authenticity and charm, while families everywhere will find a new family-friendly buddy duo to love.”
Giamatti will next be seen in Love & Mercy, earthquake action-thriller San Andreas and Straight Outta Compton. He also voices a character in The Little Prince, which is screening in Cannes. He’s repped by UTA, Kipperman Management and Sloane, Offer.
Goodman has Trumbo and Valencia coming up. He’s repped by Gersh, and Frankfurt Kurnit.
Thorne, who will appear in the Scream TV series, has also worked on Home Invasion and Amityville: The Reawakening. She’s repped by WME, LBI Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein.
Stallone recently appeared in The Expendables 3, and voices a character in animated Animal Crackers along with reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed, starring Michael B. Jordan. He’s repped by WME and Bloom Hergott.
Dawson's recent films include Top Five, and she stars in The Captive, which premiered in Cannes last year. She’s repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.