Aardman on ‘Run’

A fowled-up escape movie is in the works from Aardman Studios, the Bristol, England-based animators responsible for the “Wallace and Gromit” trilogy. It will be the first feature film for the studio, run by Nick Park and Peter Lord.

Exec producing “Chicken Run” is Jake Eberts, whose exec producing credits also include the animated feature “James and the Giant Peach,” as well as “A River Runs Through It” and “Dances With Wolves.”

“It’s a comedy thriller in the same spirit as Wallace and Gromit,” Aardman’s Park told Daily Variety. Park, who has won three Oscars for animated shorts, is co-directing with Lord, from a screenplay by U.K. TV and screenwriter Jack Rosenthal (“Yentl”).

The plot concerns Rocky and Ginger, two chickens in love who also are inhabitants of a sinister Yorkshire chicken farm. “Rocky thinks there must be more to life than this,” said Lord, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for his animated short “Wat’s Pig.”

The film is in production, and delivery is expected in late 1998.