DreamWorks Animation to Develop ‘Mice and Mystics’ Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

By Dave McNary

DreamWorks Animation is in final negotiations for the movie rights to Jerry Hawthorne’s board game “Mice and Mystics,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Alexandre Aja attached to direct and co-write the script with “Aquaman” scribe David Leslie Johnson. Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Jon Berg are producing.

“Mice and Mystics” is a role-playing game in which players are loyal to the king –- but to escape the clutches of the evil Vanestra, they have been turned into mice imprisoned in a seaside castle. They face countless adversaries such as rats, cockroaches, and spiders, and the castle’s house cat, Brodie.

Lee founded Vertigo with Doug Davison in 2002. His credits include “The Ring,” “The Grudge,” “It,” the Lego movies, and “The Departed.” Berg joined Vertigo last year after serving as Warner Bros.’ co-president of production for a year and overseeing the studio’s DC films, along with DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns. Berg worked on DC movies including “Justice League,” “Wonder Woman,” and the upcoming “Aquaman” film, which is due out in December. Prior to joining Warner Bros., he also produced the 2003 Will Ferrell hit “Elf.”

Aja has previously directed “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Horns,” and “Piranha 3D.” Johnson’s writing credits include “Wrath of the Titans,” “The Conjuring 2,” and “The Conjuring 3.”

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NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion in 2016, making it a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Its next title is “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” opening on Feb. 22, followed by “Abominable” on Sept. 27, and “Trolls World Tour” on April 17, 2020.