With only two weeks before production begins, Deadline reports that Walt Disney Pictures has halted further development on 20th Century Fox’s film adaptation of Mouse Guard. According to the trade, producers Matt Reeves, Ross Ritchie and Stephen Christy are being allowed to sell the project elsewhere with several studios like Netflix and Paramount Pictures already interested in the project.
Following Disney’s successful acquisition of Fox last March, the high-profile adaptation’s surprising cancellation is only one of Fox’s many projects that have been affected by the merger. It was reported last month that Fox 2000, one of the 20th Century Fox’s well-known film divisions, was entirely shutdown with any projects in development set up at the label no longer moving forward.
Based on the graphic novels, Mouse Guard follows the titular order of mice who act as the protectors of a mystical medieval world from foes ranging from predators including foxes and eagles, as well as other evil rodents. Idris Elba (Hobbs & Shaw), Andy Serkis (Black Panther), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Maze Runner: The Death Cure) and Jack Whitehall were all attached to star in the film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scribe Gary Whitta wrote the screenplay for the Mouse Guard movie, which has Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves producing. Reeves’ own Sixth & Idaho company will produce along with Mouse Guard publisher Boom! Studios’ Ross Richie and Stephen Christy. The film will be a Maze Runner reunion between Brodie-Sangster, who starred in all three films as one of the main characters, Newt, and director Wes Ball, who made his feature directorial debut with the blockbuster adaptation trilogy at Fox that garnered nearly $1 billion across its three films.
In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one village to another. They see to their duty with fearless dedication so that they may not simply exist but truly live.