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Copernicus Studios Heads to ‘Death Castle’ with ‘SpongeBob’ Writer Mr. Lawrence

Comedy-horror short is being developed into a new adult animation series with art direction from Primetime Emmy winner Craig Kellman.

Canadian animation studio Copernicus has announced its new animated pilot Death Castle, written and directed by Mr. Lawrence, the Emmy-winning head writer of SpongeBob SquarePants and co-creator of The Patrick Star Show and Kamp Koral. The six-minute short film will act as a pilot episode for a new adult animation series currently in development.

Billed as The Office meets FrankensteinDeath Castle is a satire of scary monster movies paired with a screwball relationship comedy for adult audiences.

Copernicus and Mr. Lawrence have brought together an international team of animation industry experts to develop the short, which they say will be created in a high-end traditional 2D animation style “with distinctive visual appeal.”

Primetime Emmy winner Craig Kellman, whose credits include Penguins of Madagascar and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, is serving as art director and is co-producing the film with Paul Rigg, president of Copernicus Studios, and Matthew Huerto, head of production at Copernicus. The studio has worked on major animation series and feature films including Curious George, Solar Opposites and Teen Titans GO!

UK-based character animator Uli Meyer (Mary Poppins Returns, 2019’s AladdinSpace Jam), Annie Award-winning Dean Roberts (Frankenweenie, Ron’s Gone Wrong), and Annie Award-winning Gabriele Zucchelli (The Jungle Book, Guardians of the Galaxy, Alien vs. Predator) are lead animators on the project. The film is executive produced by Mr. Lawrence and MaryAnn Lawrence.

“It’s been a blast to bring together some of the finest minds in the animation industry to create something completely out-of-the-ordinary. Bringing Mr. Lawrence’s vision to life with such a unique animation style will be an incredible proof-point to create an amazing animated series in future,” said Rigg.

“I think audiences will be both shocked and delighted at this gem of a screwball comedy,” Mr. Lawrence added. “And with a team like Craig, Uli, Dean, Gabriele and Copernicus on board, you can’t go wrong!”