Successfully reaching a three-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures back in April 2007, Aardman Features is now going full force to develop a handful of new animated projects on its plate, Aardman Animations COO Stephen Moore revealed on Monday, June 17.
As part of the plan, the company has appointed writing duo Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah to both pen the script of a comedy caper entitled "The Cat Burglars" for Steve Box to direct. Mixing the comedy action of "Wallace and Gromit" with the cool styling of "Ocean's Eleven" in the studio's trademark stop-frame claymation, the flick centers on a gang of milk-pilfering stray cats that attempt to pull off their biggest heist ever.
Other scribe hired is "Borat" co-writer Peter Baynham who is set to work on "Operation Rudolph", a quirky action adventure set on Christmas Eve. Pic will present the North Pole operation as an exhilarating ultra high-tech military procedure on a massive scale, revealing how Santa and his huge army of combat elves get round the whole world in just one night.
Also signed are Aardman co-founder Peter Lord and "Gromit" creator Nick Park. The former is poised to direct "Pirates" a comedy adventure based on two books by Gideon Defoe whom Lord will pen the script with, accompanied by Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil. Meanwhile, the latter is simply mentioned to be on the run to create a new, non-"Wallace and Gromit" feature for the studio.