Getty Images / Dutton Juvenile
Back in 2005, legendary musician and songwriter Paul McCartney wrote a children’s adventure book called High in the Clouds with author Philip Ardagh, and he’d been developing it into an animated feature since 2009 with Gaumont optioning the rights last year. The project is seeing more forwards movement with The Woman in Black: Angel of Death writer Jon Croker being brought on to adapt McCartney’s book.
The book and planned film tells the story of “Wirral the squirrel,” who goes on a journey to find the animal paradise called Animalia after his forest home is destroyed by bulldozers, killing his mother in the process. (So it sounds like Bambie meets Zootopia?)
McCartney himself is likely to voice one of the main characters with Lady Gaga writing a number of original songs for the movie.
Gaumont will produce the film with Michael Lynn and Bob Shaye of Unique Features, who have been involved with the project for many years. McCartney will be producing the film through his MPL Communications along with Shaye, Lynne, Gaumont CEO Sidonie Dumas, vice-CEO Christophe Riandée, and president of animation Nicolas Atlan.
Having started his career as a director’s assistant for Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell on the third and fourth Harry Potter movies, the British Croker wrote an early version of Paddington, as well as feature films Desert Dancer, Fast Girls and In Fear. More recently, he’s been involved with adapting the French thriller The Prey into an English remake for DreamWorks, writing The Famous Five for Working Title and a ghost story film formerly titled The Ruins for Fox Searchlight and a few other projects.
While I personally haven’t read McCartney’s book, the idea of him being involved with the production should help it get big name talent both in voice roles and doing the music ala Lady Gaga
Deadline initially reported on the news.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor