Cannes, France -- Animetropolis, IDA and EFG-Renascence Productions unveiled the producing team and teaser poster for their animated feature film adaptation of Tad Williams’ acclaimed bestselling novel Tailchaser’s Song. The stereoscopic 3D CG-animated family film starts production later this year.
“We couldn’t be more honored to have assembled such an esteemed group of filmmakers to bring this project to fruition,” said producers Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, Samantha Inoue-Harte, Junya Okabe, Solomon J. LeFlore, and Susan Gee in a joint statement. “Our team brings an extraordinary array of experience and expertise to the film, and a shared passion for the source material.”
Co-Executive Producer Tad Williams is an international best-selling author of fantasy and science fiction. Since 1985, he has written 18 novels and 2 story collections, and his work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Tad’s stories have earned critical acclaim and immense popularity worldwide.
Tailchaser’s Song was his first novel, while his Otherland series has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a live-action feature adaptation, and is also the basis for the groundbreaking new MMORPG of the same name from RealU, dtp Entertainment and gamigo.
“If you’re going to collaborate, you want to collaborate with smart and creative people, and so far I have seen ample evidence that that’s the case,” said Williams in a statement. “They’re really interested in bringing the book to the screen in the spirit it was written, which is all I can ask for. I am really pleased and excited.”
Executive Producer Peter Ramsey made his feature film directing debut on DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians last year (worldwide box office $300 million) after working on the studio’s Puss in Boots, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek the Third, and Shark Tale. Previously, he was a top production illustrator and storyboard artist on such blockbusters as Independence Day, Men in Black, and Minority Report.
“I think the story has lots of promise and it’s a world that feels pretty fresh,” said Ramsey. “I’m impressed with the artwork I've seen so far, and with the project overall.”
Producers Solomon J. LeFlore and Susan Gee have secured a number of U.S. studio production output arrangements and are currently producers on Isabel Rey and director Fernando Cortizo’s Spanish language stopmotion feature animation O’Apostolo that is making its way from the festival circuit to major distribution.
O’Apostolo was recently nominated for Goya Awards for Best Animation in 14 categories, and an English language version is currently in progress. In addition to Tailchaser’s Song, the producers are entering preproduction on the Germany/New Zealand co-production John’s Revelations and UK/New Zealand coproduction Transference with producer partner Tim Coddington (Narnia; Cirque Du Soleil, Cyber).
Solomon J. LeFlore, EFG-Renascence’s co-founder, said, “We are looking forward to being in business with Paul and Samantha, IDA, Full Clip and the entire creative team on the U.S./Japan feature co-production of Tad Williams’ Tailchaser’s Song. We are excited to help bring this amazing project to the big screen in a big way.”
Full Clip Productions, founded by Sam Worthington, John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz, are currently attached to produce For the Dogs, a feature film directed by Philip Noyce and starring Sam Worthington and Hailee Steinfeld based on the novel by Kevin Wignall; Gallipoli Story, a six-hour mini-series for FOXTEL co-produced with NBCUniversal International’s Matchbox Pictures, written by Stuart Beattie and Jacquelin Perske; The Broken, a 2012 Black List script, written by John Glosser and being directed by Robert Lorenz; and Cleaners, a crime/action series from writer/director Paul Leyden for Sony’s Crackle digital platform.
“Full Clip has long been a fan of animated movies and have been looking for the right project to start our venture into animated feature films following our foray into the world of graphic novels,” said Full Clip VP Luca Scalisi. “We are big fans of the book and the creative forces behind the project. We are excited to work alongside such accomplished producers and look forward to bringing this beloved book to the screen.”
Animetropolis previously announced IDA (International Digital Artists, the first Japanese studio ever nominated for a Visual Effects Society Award for animation) as production partner and lead animation unit for Tailchaser’s Song. “IDA adds their unique sense of Japanese creativity to the universal appeal of the novel, which will result in an extraordinary animated film for a worldwide audience,” said Alvarado-Dykstra and Inoue-Harte. Animetropolis partners Paul Alvarado-Dykstra and Samantha Inoue-Harte are producing with IDA’s Junya Okabe and EFG-Renascence Production’s partners Solomon J. LeFlore and Susan Gee, in association with Full Clip Productions and Fire Duck. Executive producers are Peter Ramsey and Full Clip’s Luca Scalisi. Co-executive producers are author Tad Williams and Full Clip’s Michael Schwarz. Co-producer is IDA’s Yasumasa Kutami, and associate producers are Fire Duck’s Chris Rydo and Bethany Rhoades, who co-wrote the screenplay adaptation.
Hailed “as fully realized as Watership Down” by Publishers Weekly and written by “the best author of epic fantasy not named Tolkien” according to The New Yorker, Tailchaser’s Song follows a young ginger tomcat named Fritti Tailchaser on a perilous quest to find his best friend, Hushpad, after she mysteriously vanishes. This imaginative fantasy adventure takes us through a wondrous world of whiskery heroes and villains, culminating in an epic battle against an evil cat god.