'Shaun the Sheep Movie' Sequel in the Works at Aardman

Shaun the Sheep - H 2015
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Crowds flocked to the first big-screen outing of the woolly farmyard favorite, which earned $106 million internationally and now gives StudioCanal another major family franchise.

Shaun the Sheep is set to make a feature-length return.

Aardman Animations and StudioCanal announced a sequel to 2015's Oscar-nominated Shaun the Sheep Movie on Tuesday, a widely expected move given the $106 million earned by the first film. Richard Starzak will again direct (he co-directed the first alongside Mark Burton), with Paul Kewley returning as producer.

The film gives StudioCanal another successful family franchise alongside Paddington and is set to come hot on the heels of Aardman's animated feature Early Man – also with StudioCanal – being directed by Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit filmmaker Nick Park. Shaun the Sheep was, of course, a breakout star of Park's 1995 short Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave.

"Shaun’s move to the big screen proved such a success with audiences around the world that he and the flock are very excited to be embarking on another big-screen adventure," said David Sproxton, Aardman co-founder and exec chairman. "Aardman is partnering with StudioCanal once again to produce another rip-roaring comedy, featuring Shaun and the rest of the gang in a story that takes them to even greater heights of lunacy."

StudioCanal is co-financing Shaun the Sheep Movie 2 and will distribute in its own territories, the U.K, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, selling worldwide at AFM.

Pre-production on Shaun the Sheep Movie 2 will commence in January 2017, with principal photography likely to start once filming on Early Man finishes, utilizing the same studio space at Aardman's facilities in Bristol, U.K.