Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians

Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures will release the first movie trailer for Zack Snyder‘s computer animated adaptation Legend of the Guardians, based on the popular children’s book series Guardians of Ga’Hoole, with Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. But you don’t have to wait until Friday to get a look at Snyder’s first family film, as Warners has released a bunch of photos in Thursday’s edition of USA Today.

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Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures have decided to give Zack Snyder‘s animated adaptation of the popular children’s book series Guardians of Ga’Hoole a new title: Legend of the Guardians. The new title is aimed at those who might not understand what a “Ga’Hoole” is or means. And while it may be easier for people to pronounce and understand, for me the new title comes off a bit generic-sounding.

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We’ve been hearing rumors for the last year, but Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures have finally begun to confirm some of the voice cast of Zack Snyder‘s animated adaptation of the popular children’s book series Guardians of Ga’Hoole.

Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham will lead the voice cast of Animal Logic’s 3D animated feature, which will also feature the voices of  Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Emilie de Ravin, Ryan Kwanten, Jay Laga’aia, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren and Jim Sturgess. Hugh Jackman had been rumored to be part of the production but appears to be MIA.

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Some of the voice cast for Zack Snyder‘s animated film based on Kathryn Lansky’s children’s book Guardians of Ga’Hoole has been announced in tonight’s edition of THR. The supporting voice cast includes Jim Sturgess (21), Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean), Rachael Taylor (Transformers) and David Wenham (300).

It has been rumored that Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) will make-up the voice cast lead roles, but that has yet to be officially confirmed.
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Casting: Zack Snyder’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) have joined the voice cast of Zack Snyder‘s animated children’s film Guardians of Ga’Hoole.

The animated film is an adaptation of the 14 book bestselling kids series by author Kathryn Lasky and illustrator Richard Cowdry (the film is based on the first three books in the series). The producers have described the tone as more “Harry Potter” “than Happy Feet.” The story follows a young barn owl named Soren, who is kidnapped by owls of St. Aggie’s,where owlets are brainwashed into becoming soldiers. He and his new friends escape to the island of Ga’Hoole, to assist its noble, wise owls who fight the army being created by the wicked rulers of St. Aggie’s.

Guardians of Ga’Hoole is scheduled to hit theaters on July 30th 2010.

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Who saw this coming? Perhaps that’s Zack Snyder‘s M.O. Snyder will follow-up his 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen with the animated kids film Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a feature adaptation based on the rather large (14 books and counting since 2003!) bestselling kids series by author Kathryn Lasky and illustrator Richard Cowdry. Variety reports that the Warner Bros./Village Roadshow flick is gunning for a 2009 or early 2010 release. No specifics on the animation style, but the Australian special effects company Animal Logic, which has worked on films like Happy Feet, Snyder’s 300 and Babe, will be central to the production.

The main characters in the books are barn owls who apparently exist in a “post-human time,” and live in a forest utopia called Tyto before a “great evil” stirs them up. The series’ title derives from The Great Tree of Ga’Hoole, a central location in the books, with “ga’hoole” meaning “great spirit of Hoole” in owl-speak. The owl mythology runs deep (25 books are planned), but, Watership Down had a glossary too. Insomniac parents have something “really cool, guys” to tell their carpool on the way to school tomorrow morning. Minivan movie gossip at 7:30 a.m. Why not?

The adapted screenplay for Guardians of Ga’Hoole (kinda fun to say) is by John Orloff (Band of Brothers) and John Collee (Happy Feet), with visual effects pro Zareh Nalbandian (Happy Feet again) producing. So, Snyder moving into animated films…not a huge stretch and it gets his name out to a younger pool of moviegoers. If there’s one thing animated children’s films don’t need more of, it’s talking animals, but I’m sure Snyder’s owls will be more majestic than Ashton Kutcher’s wide-eyed mule deer in Open Season.

Discuss: What did you think Zack Snyder would do next? He’s apparently still attached to the Afghanistan drama The Last Photograph in case you were wondering. Umm, who knows the ways of Ga’Hoole? Anyone? Anyone?

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