Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson has been tapped to direct a CG- animated feature inspired by the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark for United Pictures.
Slated for 2016, the film is an animated comedy- adventure inspired by the classic tale and told from the point of view of the animals.
Currently in preproduction, the film’s script is by Philip LaZebnik ( The Prince of Egypt, Mulan and Pocahontas) and Glen Dolman. The production is being overseen by executive producers Cecil Kramer ( Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were- Rabbit, Flushed Away and Astro Boy) and Stevenson, with Unified Pictures’ Kurt Rauer and Keith Kjarval.
The company has also assembled a crew of animation veterans that includes production designer Luc Desmarchelier ( Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Open Season), visual development artist Richie Chavez ( The Prince of Egypt, Mulan) and editor Stan Webb ( Nightmare Before Christmas, Antz) and conceptual story artist Robert Stevenhagen ( Frankenweenie, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were- Rabbit)
directors John Musker and Ron Clements issued the following statement shortly after Williams’ death:
“We had the thrill and privilege of directing Robin Williams in Aladdin. We wrote the part with him in mind, but his performance, complete with his brilliant, improvised flights of fancy, took us and the character far beyond what we had imagined. Robin’s genie defied space, time, and physics, and so did Robin’s talent. Like the genie it was immeasurable, thrilling, a cosmic explosion of wit and warmth. Robin brought magic into our lives, to his animator/ other half, Eric Goldberg, and to the scores of artists who brought the genie to such vivid life on the screen. But, most of all, Robin’s magic touched millions of viewers who laughed and were moved by him. We will cherish the memory of this ever-giving man who made every life he touched, including our own, better.”
Goldberg, who was the supervising animator for the Genie character in the movie, also issued a statement on Williams:
“I am beyond devastated. I cannot express how influential and important Robin was, and will continue to be, to me and countless other animation artists. Robin gave those of us who worked on the Genie so much humor, inspiration, and just sheer delight, that we were always spoiled for choice whenever we came back from a recording session. Like the Genie, Robin’s immense talent could not be contained in the lamp. I think we all knew, as the world does now, if there was ever a person who was tailor-made for the medium of animation, it was Robin. We have lost not just a great voice, though. We have lost a warm, human, miraculous person whose numerous and amazing talents will continue to inspire people for generations upon generations”