After over a dozen years away from the director’s chair, Nick Park, creator of the award-winning stop animation shorts featuring the pair of characters Wallace & Gromit, has returned to Aardman Studios to direct Early Man. Nick Park’s last directing work with Aardman was for Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death in 2009.
Early Man is set at the dawn of time and stars new caveman character Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) and his sidekick Hognob and tells of their quest to unite their tribe to compete in the first-ever game of soccer. Fans are not the only one thrilled with this recent announcement. Peter Lord told The Hollywood Reporter that Park was a “safe pair of hands.” Check out the new teaser trailer for the movie below.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the name Nick Parks or Aardman Studios, you have seen their work in numerous commercials for Chevron, Serta, Hubba Bubba, Hotels.com and even McDonald’s.
Celebrating 40 years together as well as ten Oscar nominations and four wins, Peter Lord and David Sproxton began working together in animation while they were still in school. They produced their first professional project, Morph for Tony Hart’s British children’s programs, Take Hart and Hartbeat in 1977. Years later, the two met Nick Park while he was still at the National Film and Television School working on his first Wallace & Gromit feature, A Grand Day Out. Nick joined Aardman Studios full time in 1985.
Over the years, Parks has worked on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” music video (he helped to create oven-ready dancing chickens), some work for the American TV series Pee-wee’s Playhouse for CBS and Creature Comforts, his first Oscar-winning short film. Wallace & Gromit’s second short film, The Wrong Trousers was created in 1993 followed by A Close Shave in 1995; both of them were Oscar winners as well.
— DamianiFiorella (@DamianiLloyd) October 1, 2016
Park created his first full-length feature film, Chicken Run with Lord in 2000 and then five years later, Park directed the full-length film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It won Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Nick hasn’t directed an Aardman project since 2009’s Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, but he has served as producer for the Shaun the Sheep Movie in 2015 and the short film, Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas, also in 2015.
— kyle chapman (@kchapman1988) September 24, 2016
For his new project, Park is excited to work with Eddie Redmayne on Early Man.
“Not only is Eddie a joy to work with, his versatility and boundless energy have really helped to bring my new character to life,” said Parks. “He embodies the cheeky charm, fun and plucky wit of Dug, and I’m sure he’ll get along brilliantly with Dug’s sidekick Hognob.”
Soon to be seen in the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Redmayne is the first voice actor to be announced for the Early Man project with more names to be released in the coming weeks.
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Aardman Studios first foray with computer animation came with 2006’s Flushed Away, a partnership with DreamWorks Animation where the company tried to replicate the “look” of stop-motion animation, but the film did poorly with box office sales. Aardman was also to be involved in the movie, The Croods, but the DreamWorks partnership fell apart in 2007.
Aardman is also known for Sony’s Arthur Christmas (2011) and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012).
Early Man is being produced with SudioCanal, who worked together on last year’s surprise hit Shaun the Sheep Movie. Early Man is expected to arrive in theater in early 2018.
[Featured Image by Aardman Studios]