Global Screen has picked up worldwide distribution rights, excluding North America, the U.K. and German-speaking territories, to the English-language animated feature “The Amazing Maurice,” based on a Terry Pratchett novel.
The screenplay has been written by Terry Rossio, Oscar-nominated for “Shrek.” Rossio’s credits also include the animated movie “Aladdin” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Carter Goodrich, who worked on “Ratatouille,” “The Croods” and “Despicable Me” is on board for the character design. The director is Toby Genkel, who directed hit animated movie “Ooops! Noah Is Gone.”
Global Screen will start preselling the film at the AFM with a script and promo in place. The film is planned to be ready for delivery in 2022.
The film is based on “The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents,” one of Pratchett’s “Discworld” novels, which have collectively sold more than 90 million copies. It is inspired by the Grimm’s fairy-tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
It centers on Maurice, a streetwise cat, who has the perfect money-making scam. He’s found a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe, and his very own horde of rats – rats who, strangely, are educated and literate, so Maurice can no longer think of them as “lunch.” When Maurice and the rodents reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, their little con goes down the drain. For someone there is playing a different tune. A dark, shadowy tune. Something very, very bad is waiting in the cellars.
Ulysses Filmproduktion’s Emely Christians and Cantilever Media’s Andrew Baker and Robert Chandler are producing, with Roddy MacManus on board as executive producer. Ulysses produced “Ooops! Noah Is Gone,” which Global Screen also distributed.
Tobis Film picked up the distribution rights for German-speaking territories, and is also the German co-production partner. German Studio Rakete and Canadian Squeeze Animation will be responsible for the 3D animation, with 2D animation sequences by Cantilever Media. The film is supported by Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, FFA Development and Creative Europe Media.
Christians commented: “’The Amazing Maurice’ will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses’ complete focus and attention to detail in order to fulfil our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story.”
“We are delighted to be continuing our close and extraordinarily successful collaboration with Emely Christians and her team and we can’t wait to present the first material from this incredibly lively and entertaining adventure to our buyers at the AFM,” said Alice Buquoy, senior sales and acquisitions manager at Global Screen.
Baker, CEO of Cantilever Media, said: “Pratchett is a world-class, world-renowned writer and as a lifelong fan it is thrilling to bring to the screen one of his most cherished Discworld novels. The creative talent on the project is indisputable. Terry Rossio’s screenplay is unexpected yet heart-warming and Carter Goodrich’s designs are unique. With Global Screen on board we feel we have the perfect partners in place to take this film to a worldwide audience.”