Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard, known for directing films such as A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, is set to take the helm of his first animated film.
Howard and big-time producer Brian Grazer, who has worked with Howard a number of times, have lined up “four ambitious, original animated and live-action hybrid films,” as reported by Variety.
There’s a big Aussie connection here, too. The four projects – coming from Howard and Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment – are set up with Australian animation and visual effects digital studio Animal Logic (The Lego Movie franchise, Happy Feet). Paramount Pictures is on board to release the film.
The first film to come off the line-up is The Shrinking of Treehorn, based on the 1971 children’s book authored by Florence Parry Heide and illustrated by Edward Gorey. The plot follows a young man who, after playing a mysterious board game, begins to shrink. Crazy enough, but his parents don’t notice.
The screenplay comes from Rob Lieber, whose credits include 2018 films Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween and Peter Rabbit.
“I’ve long had this passionate point of view that Ron Howard should make a tentpole animated movie. That’s how this started,” Zareh Nalbandian, Animal Logic’s entertainment CEO, said to Variety in a statement.
“It was serendipitous that Imagine was sort of evolving and growing, and Animal Logic was more and more committed to the development and production of our own intellectual property. We have a shared vision of what that space can be.”
Howard’s most recent feature is Solo: A Star Wars Story, which he was brought in for after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired. Howard’s other directorial efforts include Willow, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Man, and Rush.