Noah’s Ark movie plans have taken a Kung Fu Panda turn in more ways than one, according to a report from Variety.
The Biblical tale of a man, his family, and all the earth’s creatures (two each of them anyway) surviving an epic flood sent to wipe out evil will get the CG-animated treatment just like Kung Fu Panda.
The story will be told from the perspective of the animals with the lead being a meerkat, who leads an outcast group of animals on a journey to the Ark.
Along with this week’s announcement, the two films will also share the same director in John Stevenson. Stevenson came to the project at the request of Unified Pictures’ animation division.
Stevenson has worked on the first two Shrek films as well as Madagascar.
Joining Stevenson as co-director will be Cameron Hood, who previously worked on Kung Fu Panda 2 and another animated faith-based adventure, The Prince of Egypt.
While faith-based animation isn’t a new thing, talents like Stevenson and Hood are usually not attached, and the projects that are produced tend to stay low-profile.
Hollywood’s attention to faith-based entertainment in general has stepped up in recent years since Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christgrossed close to $612 million worldwide on a $30 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo.
The grassroots marketing campaign of that film, in which Gibson held viewings for religious organizations and developed a strong word of mouth with his target demographic, woke execs up to a perceived void in the market.
Unified is a “mainstream” player and has two films landing at the Tribeca Film Festival — Trust Me with Amanda Peet, Felicity Huffman, Molly Shannon, Allison Janney, William H. Macy and Sam Rockwell; and A Single Shot starring Rockwell, Macy and Jeffrey Wright.
Will you be watching the Noah’s Ark movie, or are you holding out for a live-actioner?