Spire Animation Studios and veteran actor Danny McBride have partnered to produce Trouble, a new animated feature now in pre-production. An original story co-created by McBride (Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, and The Righteous Gemstones) and Spire co-founder and CCO Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Lego Batman Movie), the movie will be executive produced by Spire’s P.J. Gunsagar along with Rough House Pictures’ Brandon James, and written by duo Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas (The Wrong Missy, The Do-Over and Booze Buddies).
Trouble tells the story of Jax, a 13-year-old who gets into trouble because of his bad behavior towards his family, and then literally ends up in the World of Trouble, a parallel reality. Once he’s transported to this bizarre and fantastic world of chaotic adolescence, he must figure out how to get out of trouble and get back home. Jax and the friends he meets in the World of Trouble discover their true character, and through a whimsical adventure, learn the value of self-forgiveness and empathy to earn their shot at redemption, all the while trying to escape the scariest place of all, Big Trouble.
“The idea of being in trouble is a universal fear we’ve all experienced growing up,” said McBride. “Being able to build out what that world could look like and exploring how we can make this an animated adventure with Brad and the team at Spire has been awesome.”
“Danny has such a unique sensibility and grasp of wonderfully irreverent characters, creating a story together is a dream come true,” said Lewis. “I’m definitely looking forward to getting into Trouble together, and bringing to life the three words kids all over the world fear… you’re in trouble.”
McBride is best known for creating and starring in several popular HBO television series, including Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, and The Righteous Gemstones. He also has appeared in films such as Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, Up in the Air, Your Highness, This Is the End and Alien: Covenant. McBride has done voice acting for numerous animated movies, including Despicable Me, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Angry Birds Movie and The Angry Birds Movie 2. He’ll soon be heard as the voice of family patriarch Rick Mitchell in Netflix’s The Mitchells vs. the Machines.
Trouble is Spire’s second animated feature. Last year, they announced Century Goddess, an animated film about a powerful young woman who is revealed to be a once in a century goddess and unleashes her generational power of song and spoken word to ignite a revolution. The project is creatively led by Lewis, award-winning stage director Diane Paulus (Jagged Little Pill and Waitress); chart-topping songwriter Starrah (Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You;” Rihanna’s “Needed Me;” Camila Cabello’s breakout hit “Havana;” Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix” featuring Beyoncé), and internationally acclaimed screenwriter and producer Bisha K. Ali (showrunner and head writer of Marvel Studios & Disney+’s Ms. Marvel series).
Spire is co-founded by Lewis and serial entrepreneur P.J. Gunsagar; it’s backed by Connect Ventures, an investment partnership between Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
Source: Spire Animation Studios
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.