Posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 by Angie Han
Matt Reeves is currently wrangling CG apes for War for the Planet of the Apes and Gary Whitta is just coming down from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but they’re both thinking much, much smaller for their next project. Reeves and Whitta are teaming up for a Mouse Guard movie, based on David Petersen‘s Eisner-winning graphic novel. It’s billed as a “CG live-action” project — think Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has optioned Petersen’s book for Reeves and Whitta. Reeves does not plan to direct, but will produce through his 6th & Idaho banner with Boom! Studios’ Ross Richie and Stephen Christy. Whitta will write the screenplay for the Mouse Guard movie. No director or stars have been named.
Petersen is the creator, writer, and illustrator of Mouse Guard, which debuted in 2006 under Boom! Studios Archaia imprint. In addition to the main series (which has been collected into three volumes so far), Mouse Guard has also yielded spinoff series, a roleplaying game, and more.
The Mouse Guard concept should be pretty self-explanatory, especially if you’re able to see the header image above. It follows a brotherhood of sentient, anthropomorphic mice in a medieval setting, who are sworn to aid and protect civilian mice. I haven’t read Mouse Guard myself, but that description reminds me a lot of Brian Jacques’ Redwall novels, which I devoured growing up. Mouse Guard has also been compared to Mice Templar, another comic book about mouse knights. Who knew that chivalrous rodents were such a popular premise?
The Mouse Guard movie will be “CG live-action” a la The Jungle Book, employing the mo-cap technology used in Fox’s own Apes movies. That in itself is pretty exciting — the technology is still very new but as it continues to improve we’re sure to see more films employing a similar strategy. Even ten years ago it would’ve made more sense for Mouse Guard to just be a CG-animated film, but The Jungle Book demonstrated that we’re at the point now where CG animals are essentially indistinguishable from real ones.
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