Variety is acting weird tonight and won’t let me access their site without a user name and password, but ComingSoon.net offers the following summary of a story that Variety posted tonight:
Indie financer Unified Pictures (Bob Funk) is launching development of $35 million CG-animated feature Noah’s Ark — to be told from the point of view of the animals in the ark.
Variety says Unified has signed Philip LaZebnik (The Prince of Egypt, Mulan, Pocahontas) to script. The company’s relying on its private financing, and ElectroAge has already started on the animation.
Unified executive Keith Kjarval said improvements in CG technology will make it possible to give “Ark” the look and feel of a studio film. He anticipates that the movie will be completed over the next two years.
It will be interesting to see if this film actually comes to fruition. A number of Noah’s Ark cartoons have been announced over the years, but nothing has come of them so far. Among them:
- Promenade Pictures recently announced their intention to produce a Noah cartoon as part of the “Epic Stories of the Bible” series, which begins with their CG version of The Ten Commandments, which comes out in a few weeks.
- Three years ago, Walden Media and Creative Battery reportedly hired Quest for Camelot scribe William Schifrin to write a CG Noah cartoon that would be told from the point of view of “an unlucky camel”. (“Unlucky”? He was one of only two camels to survive the flood!)
- And nine years ago, Bill Cosby reportedly teamed up with MGM to develop a Noah cartoon based on his 1960s comedy routine (“Noah, how long can you tread water?”).
But like I say, none of these films have been produced yet. So I will take the news about this latest cartoon with a big grain of salt.