〉The short’s director will helm the feature-length adaptation.
Walt Disney Studios and Whitaker Entertainment have acquired the rights to a feature length adaptation of DIG, a short film written and directed by Philip Hodges and released in 2011. Dig tells the story of a young boy who attempts to dig a hole to China in search of the girl he loves, encountering a cast of whacky and eccentric animals along the way. The short employed a hybrid use of live-action and puppetry, as Hodges is known for his work with The Jim Henson Company.
The project was brought to Disney’s attention by former vice president of production Jocelyn Diaz, who has since made the move to Epix to serve as executive vice president of original programming. Hodges is attached to direct, with James Whitaker and Adam Borba taking over to produce.
Hodges is known primarily for his short films, First Bass, Nebraska, and Cowboy: As I Am. He has also directed music videos for Ben Folds Five, the Foo Fighters and BMW, as well as launching and directing Snapchat’s first original series. Dig will be Hodges’ first feature-length endeavor.
Whitaker’s production company, Whitaker Entertainment, has a first look deal with Walt Disney Studios through August 2016. Whitaker has produced American Gangster, Changeling, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green in recent years. His company currently has The Finest Hours and a Pete’s Dragon remake in the works with Walt Disney Studios, as well as the rights to a Labyrinth sequel optioned with The Jim Henson Company.
Hodges is repped by WME.
Parker Mills | Film Journalist