Gervais will voice the lead character, and the script will be written by Matt Selman (“The Simpsons”).
The four-volume series, illustrated by Rob Steen, encompasses a world inhabited by 50 species of creatures so ugly and misshapen they become cute and endearing. Gervais’ character, a pudgy, perspiring purple creature, goes on a mission to change the world. “It will be great to play a short, fat, sweaty loser for a change,” Gervais said. “A real stretch.”
Illumination founder Chris Meledandri will produce with Courtney Pledger. Gervais will exec produce.
Illumination, formed to give Universal a presence in family and animated fare, is in production on “Despicable Me,” a film that Universal will release July 9, 2010. The pic’s lead voices are delivered by Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Danny McBride, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig and Julie Andrews.
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Endeavor reps Gervais with U.K.-based United Agents.