bubbles movie cancelled

We all knew this was coming. Bubbles, Taika Waititi‘s long-gestating stop-motion movie about Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, is officially dead. Isaac Adamson wrote the script, which is a kind of biopic of the late King of Pop told from the point of view of his pet chimp. Waititi was set to co-direct with Mark Gustafson, with Netflix distributing.

However, Waititi has officially departed, and his departure has inspired Netflix to cancel the project entirely. Waititi’s leaving is being chalked up to scheduling difficulties with the live-action Akira he’s directing, but it’s also highly likely the project is dead in the water due to Leaving Neverland, the disturbing HBO documentary that rekindled talk of Jackson’s alleged sexual misconduct with children.

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I’ve heard a good number of people say that their favorite late summer film was Laika‘s Paranorman, and so it may hearten that audience to know that Laika has another film coming. It just isn’t coming all that soon. The animation studio has set September 26, 2014 as the date for a film that is as yet untitled. While we don’t know the precise identity of the project, we have a couple good ideas to choose from. Read More »

Even as we anticipate this year’s big animated pictures, including Pixar’s Brave, we’re already getting curious about two projects that have been simmering for a while but won’t hit for another couple of years. After the jump, check out a fresh bit of concept art from Pinocchio, a 3D stop-motion project being directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson, and take a peek at the title characters from DreamWorks Animation’s 3D CG-animated Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

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A few years ago Guillermo del Toro started working to produce a stop-motion animated take on Pinocchio. Despite some solid attached talent, like Fantastic Mr. Fox animator Mark Gustafson as co-director with Gus Grimly, whose illustrated take on the story helped spawn the project, this one has taken time to get to the production stage. That’s even with the Jim Henson company behind the development, too.

So, with the number of projects del Toro has started to produce over the past few years stacked against the ones that have actually been finished, I’d understand if anyone took a ‘wait and see’ attitude towards this Pinocchio. Now it might have taken a big step towards a green light, however, as del Toro says that he’ll co-direct the film with Gustafson, with a summer 2013 shoot planned. Read More »

Animation house Laika has done a few supernatural-themed projects in a row, with Corpse Bride, Coraline and the forthcoming ParaNorman on its CV. Now the studio will make a third, as it plans to produce an adaptation of the Philip Reeve book Goblins, with Fantastic Mr. Fox animation director Mark Gustafson in the director’s chair. (Laika and Gustafson just worked together with Wes Anderson on a commercial for Sony, and the director has been at the head of many other commercial projects for the company.)

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Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaking force of nature. Seemingly every few weeks, the writer/producer/director announces a new project and the latest will team him up with the Henson Company and Pathe to produce a 3D stop-motion animation version of Pinocchio. Based on a 2002 book of the classic fairy tale, the film will be aimed at slightly older audiences and be more edgy. It’ll be co-directed by Gris Grimly (who illustrated the 2002 book) and Mark Gustafson from a script by Matthew Robbins. Del Toro and Robbins collaborated on the story and the whole production is gearing up for production later this year. After the jump, see more concept art from the film, read who else is going to be working on it (Nick Cave!) and even check out some quotes from Del Toro about this film and how he’ll fit it with At the Mountains of Madness. Read More »