Zack Snyder (300, WATCHMEN) will direct the animated adventure feature GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE for Village Roadshow Pictures.
The film will be produced by digital production studio Animal Logic at Fox Studios in Sydney. Animal Logic head Zareh Nalbandian will produce.
The script, written by John Orloff (A MIGHTY HEART, BAND OF BROTHERS) and John Collee (HAPPY FEET), is based on the popular children's book series by Kathryn Lasky. The film is set for a 2010 release.
GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE captures the first three installments of the book series of the same name, which follows a young barn owl and his friends as they courageously escape the evil clutches of a band of rogue owls and embark on a journey to reunite with their families. Focused on their mission, they join forces with the mythical Guardians of Ga'hoole, owl protectors only spoken of through legend. Together the young barn owl, his friends and the Guardians courageously battle the rogues to save the entire owl kingdom from ultimate destruction.
The film will feature unique Australian characters in an eclectic cast of owls and other creatures. The story is set in a fantasyland of forests, deserts, canyons, oceans and islands. While the film is fully CG, its look will be based on reference textures, lighting and geological formations found in Australia, primarily on Tasmania's wild South West coast. The magic of the Tasmanian landscape will be one of the stars of the film. Animal Logic recently shot reference footage in Tasmania with the new RED ONE digital camera.
Village Roadshow has built a successful relationship over the years with the Sydney headquartered Animal Logic. The companies collaborated on the animated feature film HAPPY FEET, which won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as Animal Logic's collaboration with Zack Snyder on the hit film 300.
GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE, the second digitally animated feature film ever to be produced in Australia, will utilize the talent and production pipeline Animal Logic created for HAPPY FEET (the first digitally animated feature film produced in Australia). It is projected the film will employ approximately 300 artists at Animal Logic's Sydney studio over the course of production, and will help establish the studio as a player in the world of feature animation.
Animal Logic's Grant Freckelton and Simon Whiteley will serve as the film's supervising art director and production designer, respectively, following Freckelton's successful collaboration with Snyder in that role during the making of 300. Whiteley served as art director on HAPPY FEET.
The film will be co-financed and distributed by Village Roadshow and Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be executive produced by Donald De Line, Deborah Snyder, Lionel Wigram, Kathryn Lasky, Dana Goldberg and Bruce Berman.