They’re the undisputed kings of stop-motion animation, having brought us the likes of Wallace & Gromit, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists! and this year’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, and now we know what Aardman Animations’ next project will be.
Teaming up again with their European Shaun the Sheep Movie partners Studiocanal, Variety reports Aardman Studios is currently working on a stop-motion animation centered around the ancient world of cave man entitled, quite appropriately, Early Man. Animation fans will immediately think of the 2013 hit The Croods but the fact that this will be done in a hand-crafted style will easily set it apart.
Fans of the studio will be delighted to hear Nick Park himself will be directing the film (his first since the Oscar-winning The Curse of the Were-Rabbit), working from a script by Mark Burton and John O’Farrell (Chicken Run).
Allowing Park to develop a new motley crew of characters, here in a dramatic prehistoric world when dinosaurs and wooly mammoths roamed the earth, “Early Man” tells the tale about how a plucky caveman unites his tribe against a mighty enemy and saves the day.
Additionally, Deadline reports the plot will focus specifically on the world’s first game of football (soccer to our American readers), with a pre-World Cup 2018 release being eyed by the partnering studios. We can expect our first look at artwork from the film when it’s revealed at Cannes to entice buyers. Studiocanal will be hoping to replicate their child-friendly box office success that they had with last year’s brilliant Paddington.
I’m very excited to be making this film with such great partners – StudioCanal and BFI,” said Park. “And with the support of the incredible team at Aardman – bringing this inept bunch of cavemen to life is going to be a hilarious adventure.
Needless to say Aardman are masters at traditional stop-motion animation and they even showed with Shaun the Sheep Movie that they could make an entirely dialogue-free film just as delightful and hilarious as their other, talkier works. Perhaps they will be utilizing some of that ‘Shaun’ skill with Early Man, considering – if they stick to historical accuracy – early men didn’t talk!