Mike Johnson has signed on to direct the CG/Stop-Motion hybrid feature film Oz Wars. The Academy Award and Annie Award-nominee got his start as the Assistant Animation Rigger and Assistant Animator on The Nightmare Before Christmas. He was an animator on James and The Giant Peach, directed three episodes of the lat 1990′s Fox clay animated television series The PJs, and was co-director of the 2005 film Corpse Bride. So basically, he has a long history with stop motion animation.

Written by Rob Moreland (Space Chimps 1 & 2) and Athena Gam (Alien Rock Band), Oz Wars attempts to transform the Wizard of Oz narrative into “a contemporary, freaky action-packed PG-13 audience pleaser, with Dorothy caught up in a whirlwind of warrior witches, black magic, martial arts and monsters.” It’s being described as an animated film thats “not just for kids,” as the world will be “dark, slick, sexy, and dangerous.” Read the press release after the jump.
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Script Review: Duncan Jones’ Mute

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ScriptShadow has a review of the screenplay for Mute, the sci-fi noir project that Moon director Duncan Jones has been developing with Mike Johnson for the last few years. You may recall that Jones recently signed on to direct Source Code, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. Jones had commented on Twitter that he decided to put Mute on hold because he got an offer he couldn’t refuse, and that Mute is a “hard sell” in this economy. And now we know more.

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Duncan Jones’ Mute Faces Financing Difficulties

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Ever since seeing Duncan Jones‘ indie feature directorial debut Moon, I’ve been waiting to see what he would do next, when he has a bigger budget and more resources. And we’ve been closely following every little detail of Jones’ next, a sci-fi thriller Mute, which has often been compared to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Now Duncan has told The Age that Mute is “mired in financing difficulties,” although the piece says that Jones is “sanguine about events.”

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[Update: Duncan Jones has now supplied us with a hi-res version of the same image and you can see it below the break. This version reveals more of the text - the sign can now be seen to read Fremde Traume, or Foreign Dreams and it is very clearly a strip club. Take a good look at the figures in the door way too. Is that a straightjacket? Somebody is definitely gripping a hold of somebody else's neck, perhaps with a device of some kind... what's going on in this scene?]

The first piece of concept art released online for Duncan Jones‘ sci-fi thriller Mute has popped up and, unsurprisingly, it has something of a Blade Runner vibe. This is one part unsurprising as young Mr. Jones has made it abundantly clear how much a fan of Ridley Scott and the seminal work of future noir he is and another one part unsurprising as he’s explicitly compared Mute to Blade Runner himself.

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