With a box office gross of nearly $225 million, “Chicken Run” is the highest grossing stop-motion film of all time. The sequel, “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget,” follows Ginger, who, having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, has set up a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat.
The cast includes Thandiwe Newton (Ginger), Zachary Levi (Rocky), Bella Ramsey, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, David Bradley, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays and Nick Mohammed. Sam Fell (“Flushed Away”) directs from a script by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell and Rachel Tunnard. Producers are Steve Pegram (“Arthur Christmas”) and Leyla Hobart. Executive producers include Peter Lord, Carla Shelley, Karey Kirkpatrick and Nick Park. The film is set for a 2023 debut.
Netflix and Aardman previously collaborated on musical animated short “Robin Robin.” Peter Lord, co-founder and creative director of Aardman and Aram Yacoubian, director of animated film at Netflix, wrote in a blog post that a “Chicken Run” sequel “was often discussed at Aardman but the studio needed the right story and the right partner. Following ‘Robin Robin,’ another collaboration seemed like a no-brainer and the perfect time to bring back our poultry heroes to the world.”
Wallace & Gromit, the British stop-motion comedy franchise created by Nick Park of Aardman Animations features Wallace, an eccentric, cheese-loving inventor, and his companion Gromit, a silent but dog. The as-yet-untitled film focuses on Gromit’s concern that Wallace has become over-dependant on his inventions, which proves justified when Wallace invents a “smart gnome” that seems to develop a mind of its own. As events spiral out of control, it falls to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces or Wallace may never be able to invent again.
This will be the first Wallace & Gromit film since the 2008 BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”
It will be directed by Park and Merlin Crossingham (creative director of the Wallace & Gromit franchise and animation director, “Early Man”) with the story written by Park and Mark Burton (“Madagascar,” “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” “Shaun the Sheep Movie”). The screenplay is by Burton. The film is produced by Claire Jennings (“Coraline”).
The BBC has had a long relationship with Aardman with the latest Shaun the Sheep caper “The Flight Before Christmas” proving a success for BBC One over the festive period.
Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be taking British audiences on a cracking new adventure with Wallace & Gromit and to be continuing our long relationship with Aardman and Nick Park following the success of ‘Shaun the Sheep’ this Christmas.”
Sean Clarke, MD of Aardman, said: “Wallace and Gromit are so loved by everyone at Aardman – they’re like family to us, and we couldn’t be more excited to be creating a brand-new film for them to star in. When Nick came up with the concept for a ‘smart gnome,’ we all agreed that Wallace would find the idea irresistible – despite warnings from Gromit, who is wise beyond his (dog) years. We’re sure audiences will find the story irresistible too.”
The film is set for the 2024 Christmas holiday frame and will air on BBC in the U.K. and on Netflix in the rest of the world.
“And beyond these exciting projects, we’re also exploring how we work together on brand new characters and stories to make the classics of tomorrow,” Lord and Yacoubian said. “We’re excited to share where this journey takes us.”