Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Wright Stuff: Edgar Wright to Direct a DreamWorks Film About Shadows...


You may be thinking... A DreamWorks film about shadows? Does that mean Me and My Shadow is back on the docket at DreamWorks?

Some of you may be asking... What was Me and My Shadow?


Me and My Shadow - a cool-sounding story about people and their shadows, who come from a shadow world - was originally announced by the company in 2010, a hybrid feature that would blend traditional animation (!) and CG. It changed directors and was pushed back, and then after DreamWorks hit some problems after the box office performance of Rise of the Guardians in late 2012, the project was removed from their slate altogether. We were, however, told for a long while that the film wasn't dead...

By last year, the director of that picture was going to be Alessandro Carloni, a story man who worked on the How To Train Your Dragon films and is currently co-directing Kung Fu Panda 3 with Jennifer Yuh Nelson. My friend Iry, who writes for Impero Disney, had interviewed him once and he had told her that the film's story was reimagined after the project was removed the slate, and that we should look out for it after 2017...

However, he said that back before DreamWorks drastically whittled down their slate this past January. After that had happened, it seemed like the shadow film was in limbo...

Or it may not be after all...

Enter this just-announced project, which isn't exactly Me and My Shadow. This new untitled shadow picture will be co-written and directed by none other than Edgar Wright, of Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World fame! DreamWorks' Presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria had this to say...

"Edgar will spearhead a new approach to this fascinating concept and we’re ecstatic to have him onboard as director along with David [Walliams] as co-writer. We’ve always been intrigued by a film concept involving shadows, and now with Edgar’s signature comedic style and abilities as a natural storyteller, audiences will be treated to a truly captivating and energetic tale."

I'm sold. Me and My Shadow, out of all the projects in DreamWorks' massive development tub, is the one that intrigued me the most. Even if this is an all-new shadow story, I'm still on board!

Here are some words from Mr. Wright himself...

"My first endeavors in film-making as a teenager were in animation, so it was hugely intriguing to get a call from DreamWorks Animation about potentially directing. When the Shadows concept was suggested to me, I could see the poster, the title sequence and pretty much the whole movie. It’s a blast writing this and to have one of my oldest friends in comedy, David Walliams, along for the adventure is a thrill."

These quotes seem to imply that the studio's upper brass were unsatisfied with the way Me and My Shadow was going, and decided to shop it to another director until the project was to their liking. I mean, this new project is about shadows after all, and the Deadline report says it's based on the same basic concept. This is essentially a brand new version of Me and My Shadow, no two ways about it. A sort of Kingdom of the Sun for DreamWorks.

Don't know what that is? Kingdom of the Sun is a Disney animated feature that didn't happen, but yet it did... It was conceived at the Mouse House in the mid-1990s by Lion King director Roger Allers, but the production was fraught with behind-the-scenes drama. Allers was removed from the project midstream, his replacement being Cats Don't Dance director Mark Dindal. (Coincidentally, Dindal was going to direct Me and My Shadow before Carloni replaced him.) Under Dindal's wing, the epic Incan Prince and the Pauper-inspired musical became the irreverent buddy comedy The Emperor's New Groove. Few elements from Kingdom of the Sun - such as the villainous Yzma, the llama aspect, the peasant, and the setting - are in the released film...

Animation history is full of these kinds of projects. Disney's got a list that's an arm's length...

Anyways... It's got to be a 2D/CG hybrid. The style fits the story quite well, and we need something of a 2D feature-length film rolling in cinemas across the nation... One directed and written by Edgar Wright, no less!

What say you? Sound off below!

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