An all-star cast headed by Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer and John C. Reilly are providing voice work in Shane Acker's animated sci-fi, fairy tale, 9. Adapted from his Academy Award nominated short, the 3D-animated feature is currently in production at Attitude Studio and LuxAnimation in Luxembourg for Focus Features.
Scripted by Pamela Pettler, 9 is being produced by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov (NIGHT WATCH) and Jim Lemley. Robert St. Pierre (MULAN 11, LADY AND THE TRAMP II: SCAMP'S ADVENTURE) is the production designer, Christophe Vacher (TARZAN, FANTASIA/2000, DINOSAUR, TREASURE PLANET, SHARK TALE) is the art director and Joe Ksander is the animation director (NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE). Creative exec David Gerson is overseeing the project for president of production John Lyons. Focus is financing 9 and holds worldwide rights to the movie.
9 is a feature-length expansion of Acker's short film of the same name. The action-packed tale takes place in a retro world parallel to our own, in which the very legacy of humanity is threatened. A community of fully mobile rag dolls living a post-apocalyptic existence finds one of their own, 9 (Wood), displaying leadership qualities that may help them to survive. The conflicted but resilient community includes 1 (Plummer), a domineering war veteran; 2 (Landau), an aged inventor; 5 (Reilly), a stalwart mechanic; 6 (Glover), a visionary and artist; and 7 (Connelly), a brave warrior.
Focus ceo James Schamus said, "This exciting and thought-provoking story has already drawn a strong filmmaking team together to work with Shane in bringing his visionary fantasy world to life. These splendid actors will provide compelling characterizations to go with the visual brilliance."
Acker received dual Masters degrees from UCLA in Architecture and Animation. His 9 short won the Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards as well as "Best in Show" honors at the 2005 SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater. At the 2005 (San Diego) Comic-Con, Acker won Best Animated Film (for the 9 short) and a Special Judges' Choice Award. He was an Academy Award nominee last year, as the 9 short was up for Best Animated Short Film.
In addition to 9, upcoming Focus Features releases include Henry Selick's stop-motion animated feature, CORALINE, starring Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher.
Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) is a feature production, financing and worldwide distribution company, and is part of NBC Universal. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Ent., NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.