Based in Trivandrum, India, Toonz Media Group will partner with Robert Chandler’s Space Age Films and Gina Carter & Stephen Fry’s Sprout Pictures in the U.K. to co-produce an adaptation of the classic tale “The Canterville Ghost” by celebrated Irish author Oscar Wilde.
L.A.-based Cinema Management Group (CMG) handles international sales.
First published in 1887, Wilde’s tale is an eerie, heart-warming story with touches of humor, following Sir Simon de Canterville’s ghost, which has been dwelling in his ancestral castle for 300 years. His quiet life will be unsettled when an American family—a Minister, his wife and their four children— move into the house. The ghost tries with all his might to scare them away, but fails miserably. Moreover, he develops a deep tie with the family’s teenage daughter.
First-timer Kim Burdon, an animator on “Ethel & Ernest,” will direct.
The voice cast will feature a reunion between long-time comedy duo Stephen Fry, who played the Irish writer in 1997’s “Wilde,” and Hugh Laurie (“House”). The pair will be joined by Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”), Imelda Staunton (“Harry Potter”), Miranda Hart (“Miranda”) and Toby Jones (“Captain America”).
Other works of the Irish author such as “The Happy Prince” and “The Selfish Giant,” have been the subject of animated adaptations, typically in form of shorts.
Among the live-action adaptations of Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” is Jules Dassin’s homonymous 1944 classic, starring Charles Laughton.
Deals already closed include German-speaking Europe, Russia and CIS territories, Poland and Eastern European territories, and the Middle East and Israel. A leading animation sales company, CMG’s line-up boasts Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s “Loving Vincent” and Gints Zilbalodis’ “Away.”
The film is scheduled to be completed in 2021, announced CMG president Edward Noeltner who, along with producer Kristina Dubin of DubinMedia, brokered the production deal with Toonz which gives “The Canterville Ghost” “the required momentum to fly into production,” Noeltner added.
According to Toonz Media Group’s CEO P. Jayakumar: “Toonz brings 20-plus years of experience in animation to this exciting project along with hundreds of skilled animators from India and an accomplished pre and post team in place in Ireland and the U.K.”
Founded in 1999 and focused on IP design, development and production, Toonz makes around 170 hours of animated fare a year. They have also recently boarded their third feature film in partnership with Exodus Film Group, “Pierre The Pigeon Hawk,” whose voice cast includes Whoopi Goldberg, Kenan Thompson, Howie Mandel and Luis Guzmán.