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Wood carves niche in ‘Feet’

CGI-animated comedy involves a penguin with a dream

HOLLYWOOD — Elijah Wood will voice the lead character of Mumble the penguin in Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures’ upcoming animated pic “Happy Feet” (aka “The Kingdom”).

Project is being written by George Miller, John Collee, Warren Coleman and Judy Morris. Miller (“Babe”) will direct.

Set in Antarctica, the CGI-animated comedy with musical and dance elements involves a young penguin with an unusual gift who finds the heart to pursue his dream.

Project is being produced in Australia through Miller’s Kennedy/Miller Prods., with Doug Mitchell and Miller producing. Warner Bros. Pictures senior VP of production Courtenay Valenti and creative exec David Beaubaire are overseeing the project with Village Roadshow’s Dana Goldberg.

Studio is not expected to have the film ready for more than two years.

Wood, repped by WMA, will next be seen in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” due for release through New Line Dec. 18.

He also recently completed production on Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” in which he starred opposite Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst.

He will also be seen later this year as the lead in Jeffrey Porter’s “Try Seventeen,” a romantic comedy starring Franka Potente and Mandy Moore, and in the upcoming mobster drama “Ash Wednesday,” starring opposite Ed Burns, who wrote and directed the pic.

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