Animation studio readies first feature musical

DreamWorks Animation has gone ape for “Monkeys of Bollywood,” roping in composer A.R. Rahman, Broadway lyricist Stephen Schwartz and husband-and-wife producing team Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges to fast-track the studio’s first animated feature musical.

Hindu epic poem “The Ramayana” inspired the Bollywood-style animated musical. Mumbai-set project revolves around two monkeys who try to stop an ancient demon from conquering the world.

“As soon as I heard that DreamWorks Animation envisioned making an animated Bollywood movie, I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Schwartz in a statement. “The fact that A.R. Rahman got involved made it an even more exciting project.”

DreamWorks chief creative officer Bill Damaschke and development exec Chris Kuser will oversee “Monkeys of Bollywood.”

Chadha and Berges have teamed for films including “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Bride and Prejudice.” Rahman scored Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Broadway vet and “Wicked” lyricist Schwartz scored DreamWorks’ “Prince of Egypt” in 1998 and has worked on TV series including “Glee” and “Army Wives.”

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