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The first fruits of 20th Century Fox’s new long-term co-production and development deal with new U.K. CG animation studio Locksmith Animation, unveiled last month, have been revealed.
Ron’s Gone Wrong, which is being co-directed by Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3) and Pixar Story vet J.P. Vine (Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur), is set for a Nov. 6, 2020, release. It will be produced at Locksmith’s major new London facilities, which are due to open in the coming weeks, with partner Double Negative providing digital production.
Set in a world where walking, talking, digitally connected bots have become children’s best friends, Ron’s Gone Wrong tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who finds that his robot buddy doesn’t quite work.
Locksmith — led by former Aardman executives Julie Lockhart (Shaun the Sheep, Pirates! Band of Misfits) and Sarah Smith (Arthur Christmas), who co-founded the company with Elisabeth Murdoch — has assembled a multiple award-winning creative team, including production designer Nathan Crowley (Dunkirk, Interstellar, The Dark Knight) with Aurelien Predal (Mune, The Little Prince), character designer Carter Goodritch (Ratatouille, Despicable Me), editor David Burrows (The Lego Movie), cinematographer David Peers (Happy Feet) and VFX supervisor Philippe Denis (Trolls).
The story was written by Peter Baynham (Borat, Hotel Transylvania) and Smith, who will produce alongside Lockhart and Lara Breay (Megamind, Penguins of Madagascar). Baynham and Murdoch will executive produce.
“While we have set our bar for talent extremely high, the team assembled in London for Ron’s Gone Wrong is truly exceptional, including some of the most respected and dynamic filmmakers working in feature animation today,” said Lockhart and Smith. “It’s a brilliant launchpad for our U.K. studio, and with our partners at 20th Century Fox we are on an exciting journey.”
The Locksmith deal and film announcement helps bolster a ramping up of Fox’s focus on family titles, with the Brit studio expected to deliver a new film every 12 to 18 months. Other titles include the newly announced Spies in Disguise — featuring the vocal talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland — from Blue Sky Studios, in which Fox has a majority stake, and a feature-length version of Bob’s Burgers. Its next major animated feature, Ferdinand, is set for release Dec. 15.
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