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Fox catches Dahl’s ‘Fox’

Anderson will direct, produce 'Fantastic' pic with Rudin

Fox Animation has snared “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

The 20th Century Fox division will turn the Roald Dahl classic title into a film that will mix several forms of animation, primarily stop-motion.

Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach adapted the book; Anderson will direct and produce with Scott Rudin.

Tome tells the story of a fox who uses its wits and cunning to outfox three dimwitted farmers who tire of sharing their chickens with the fox and resort to a shock-and-awe offensive.

Project was originally bought by Joe Roth and Revolution Studios in 2004. When Revolution folded, Fox Animation president Chris Meledandri moved in on the project.

Rudin and Anderson are already collaborating on Fox Searchlight’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” with Anderson to direct; Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star.

“Fox” marks the director’s first feature foray into animation. Anderson will start pre-production and design while shooting “Darjeeling.” He plans to make “Fox” in England, where part of “Darjeeling” will be shot.

Fox has a July 27 date on “The Simpsons” movie, followed by a March 14, 2008, release date on “Horton Hears a Who.” The hope is for “Fantastic Mr. Fox” to be Fox Animation’s next entry, ready for release prior to the next CG-animated film by “Ice Age” makers Blue Sky.

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