Well this is just about perfect. Edgar Wright—one of the most exciting and inventive filmmakers working today—will be making the move to animation. It was announced today that he’ll be directing and co-writing an original animated feature for DreamWorks Animation about shadows. He’ll be scripting the pic alongside David Wailliams, a comedian, actor, and children’s author who is best known for his partnership with Matt Lucas on the sketch show Little Britain.
This project is actually a revamped version of an animated film that DreamWorks Animation had previously tried to get off the ground called Me and My Shadow, which was about “an incredibly frustrated shadow that years for a more dynamic life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb, the world’s most boring human.” That story found the shadow breaking the rules and taking control of Stanley, and it was in development back in 2010 with Mark Dindal (The Emperor’s New Groove) directing. At that time, the plan was to use a mix of CG and hand-drawn animation, but seeing as how the project is being revamped, it’s unclear what to expect from Wright’s version except for something wholly original and probably fantastic.
Wright, who broke out in a big way with the British TV series Spaced and then began a successful run of feature films with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and most recently the brilliant The World’s End, is a pitch-perfect fit for the world of animation. His films pop with a bombast and vibrancy that is unmistakably Wright’s, and Scott Pilgrim specifically seems to toe a line somewhere between musical and animated film.
Speaking about the development, Wright said he immediately sparked to the idea:
“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,” said Wright. “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.”
This won’t be Wright’s first foray with animation. He and Attack the Block filmmaker Joe Cornish worked on the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s first animated film, The Adventures of Tintin. It’s unclear when Wright will move into this shadow picture full time and when it would see the light of day, but the filmmaker has been assembling an incredibly promising docket since leaving Marvel’s Ant-Man. He’s currently in pre-production on an original feature called Baby Driver with Ansel Elgort and Lily James, and he’s separately attached to direct an adaptation of the somewhat insane Andrew Smith novel Grasshopper Jungle and an original sci-fi pic called Collider.
As a massive fan of Wright’s work this comes as wonderful news. DreamWorks Animation is currently in the midst of a creative shift after a string of disappointments (save for the delightful How to Train Your Dragon 2), with an aim towards prioritizing quality over quantity. It doesn’t get much more quality-focused than nabbing Edgar Wright to direct, and he’s the second live-action filmmaker after Jason Reitman to enter the DreamWorks Animation fold.