Jul 23 2020

NEW PROJECTS: NETFLIX AND BEYOND

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 12.43.30 AMI’m finally able to share exciting news on not one, but two projects! This is a crazy business where many things I work on for a long time I have to keep secret. Well now two big secrets are out! While Deadline Hollywood broke the news yesterday, I can give you a lot more details here.

FEARLESS

Fearless Netflix PicMy recently-completed animated feature, Fearless will be premiering on Netflix, August 14. This is the project I moved my whole family to Montreal for, and it was quite a life experience. The film is about a teenage gamer who has never gotten off the couch, until he mistakenly opens a portal that brings the game characters into his backyard. He has to protect super-powered babies from a super villain who’s chasing them. It’s got a really cool look and some big fun superhero/sci-fi action sequences. It’s really amazing to see it out in the world now because, to be honest, it was one of the most challenging productions I’ve ever been on. The budget and script changed drastically several times throughout production, and the final film ended up very different from the film I originally set out to make. But is it fun? Yes!

The voice cast includes Susan Sarandon, Yara Shahidi, Miles Robbins, and rapper Jadakiss. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation produced the soundtrack, which is also very cool. The characters were designed by legendary artist Peter DeSeve (Ice Age, A Bug’s Life, Mulan) and my production designer was Kevin Conran, The guy who basically designed every single thing in Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, a favorite film of mine. Cinesite animation was the studio that created everything from start to finish, and were a pleasure to work with. If you love babies throwing tanks, angry floating robots and goofy alien sidekicks, this is a good one for you!

SC 7Every project is a growing experience that sets you up for your next project. Every film teaches you something about yourself as a creator and what you want to do better next time. That’s why, as difficult as this last film was to finish, it makes my second announcement all the sweeter…

DOOMSTAR JANITORIAL

My next film is a real labor of love, something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. It’s a sci-fi comedy that is basically a love letter to 80’s science-fiction and touchstone comedies like Ghostbusters, and Galaxy Quest. It’s a movie about the kind of guys that never get their moment; blue-collar workers who are usually invisible in a Star Wars kind of world. They aren’t bounty hunters or freedom fighters… they’re janitors. This is Doomstar Janitorial.

Doomstar PosterThe story is about Gabe, who mops the floors and changes the lightbulbs of a very powerful space station. When he finds out its planet-killing weapon is targeting his own home planet, he rallies the rest of his janitorial crew to sabotage the whole place. I’ve been working on the script for years. It was originally planned as a live action project, but when I realized I had a better chance of getting it made as an animated movie, I added a lot more funny robots and aliens and animation-friendly jokes. It’s truly one of the funniest things I’ve written and I can’t wait to get started.

I’ve got a fantastic team behind me on this one. Executive Producers are John Williams of Vanguard Animation (Shrek), Tom Jacomb of DNEG Animation (Puss In Boots, Rise Of The Guardians) and Peter Seaman (Who wrote a little Academy Award-winning film called Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Characters are already being designed by another legendary artist, Carter Goodrich (Despicable Me, Finding Nemo, Coco).

The poster displayed above is based on some “work in progress” versions of the characters, but they’re close. Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 12.58.57 AMEven the poster itself is a realization of a long-time dream of mine: to create a Drew Struzan-style movie poster for the film. If you don’t know who Drew Struzan is, look him up! He’s basically the master of 80s and 90s movie posters. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, he’s done them all. The artists at DNEG worked very hard to refine the brushstroke style of Struzan, and it’s pretty cool to see.

The next big hurdle is locking in the remaining financing and moving into the all-important greenlight for production. We are also currently casting, out to some pretty big names — names I will be very excited to share if they say yes! Bottom line, I want to fill this cast with the funniest people I can and really let them play when they get on the mic. Spontaneous comedy from actors is hard to capture in animation, especially improv and funny moments between two people that you usually get on a live action set. But I’m going to try… This film will center on the performances first and build from whatever crazy alchemy we get in the studio.

So tune in to Netflix on August 14 and enjoy Fearless, and I’ll give as many updates as I can about Doomstar, right here on this blog. It will be my joy to share as much as I can.


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