Aardman Reveals New Slate

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Variety reports that Aardman Features has unveiled a new slate of projects. The company signed a three-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures two months ago.

The company has signed writers Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah (“Life on Mars”) to work with director Steve Box on comedy heist The Cat Burglars The film about milk thieving stray cats will be in Aardman’s trademark stop-frame claymation and combine the comedy action of Nick Park and Box’s “Wallace and Gromit” feature with the cool styling of Ocean’s Eleven, Aardman claims. Box promises audiences something altogether fresh — “family friendly Tarantino.”

Aardman co-founder Peter Lord returns to the director’s chair for the first time since Chicken Run in 2000 with a comedy adventure based on the “Pirates” series of books penned by Gideon Defoe. Lord, Defoe and writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, whose credits include the sitcom “Hyperdrive” and animation series “Slacker Cats,” are working on the screenplay.

Also signed up to Aardman by Smith is Peter Baynham, one of the writers on “Borat,” who is developing Operation Rudolph, an action film set on Christmas night. The Christmas movie shows the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in one night.

Additionally, Nick Park is developing a new project. Details are not yet released but it is not another “Wallace and Gromit.”