Following the successful launch of the new Amazon Prime series Good Omens, Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media have just announced the development of a new animated family film, The Amazing Maurice, based on one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s wildly popular “Discworld” novels. Terry Rossio (Shrek, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean) is writing the screenplay; Carter Goodrich (Ratatouille, The Croods, Brave) in set to handle the character designs.
Pratchett’s “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents” is a children’s fantasy published by Doubleday in 2001. It was the 28th novel in the “Discworld” series, which have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide, but the first written for children. “The Amazing Maurice” is a lively and entertaining adventure inspired by the German fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin and a parody of the folk tale genre. Pratchett won the annual Carnegie Medal for the book – children’s literature’s highest award. Despite many other awards, honorary degrees and the knighthood that followed, Pratchett always emphasized that this was the award of which he was most proud.
Maurice, a streetwise cat, has the perfect money-making scam. He’s found a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe, and his very own horde of rats – rats who are strangely educated, and literate, so Maurice can no longer think of them as “lunch.” And everyone knows the stories about rats and pipers… However, when Maurice and the rodents reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, their little con goes down the drain. For someone there is playing a different tune. A dark, shadowy tune. Something very, very bad is waiting in the cellars. It’s not a game anymore. It’s a rat-eat-rat world down there and the educated rats must learn a new word…EVIL.
Emely Christians, producer and CEO of Ulysses Filmproduktion, commented: “Melissa, the young female lead in ‘The Amazing Maurice,’ says, ‘If you don’t turn your life into a story, you become part of someone else’s story.’ I loved the way she presented her attitude to life in this one sentence. When I read it, I knew we had to turn this amazing novel into an amazing film. The Amazing Maurice will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses’ complete focus and attention to detail to fulfil our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story.”
“As a lifelong Pratchett fan, bringing to the screen one of his most cherished novels is going to be immensely exciting,” Andrew Baker, producer and CEO of Cantilever Media, said. “Terry Rossio’s screenplay twists and turns and produces an unexpected yet heart-warming ending, with Carter Goodrich’s designs bringing these characters to life in their own unique style, which I’m sure audiences will love.”
Roddy McManus and Robert Chandler are attached as executive producers. The Amazing Maurice is being produced by Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media, with animation studios Studio Rakete and Squeeze Animation. The film is being directed by Toby Genkel, and produced by Emely Christians and Andrew Baker.
Narrativia is an independent production company, launched by Pratchett in 2012. The company owns and controls the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all his works, including his “Discworld” characters and creations. The company is headed by managing director Rob Wilkins and celebrated writer Rhianna Pratchett.
Source: Ulysses Filmproduktion