Oscar-winning director Chris Wedge (Ice Age) will be making his return with Epic, an animated feature that has assembled a brilliant ensemble of voices for its leading cast.
20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, the animation studio behind Ice Age, Rio, and Horton Hears A Who!, have put together an impressive cast, Deadline report.
The film will star Beyonce Knowles as Queen Tara, Colin Farrell as Ronin, Josh Hutcherson as Nod (what a name), Amanda Seyfried as Mary Katherine, Johnny Knoxville as Mandrake, Aziz Ansari as Mub, (rapper) Pitbull as Bufo, Jason Sudeikis as Bomba, and Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler as Nim Galuu.
Previously known as Leafmen, the film is based on an original children’s story by William Joyce called The Leaf Men, and will be Wedge’s first time in the director’s chair since 2005’s Robots.
“It is described as a battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and evil. When a teenaged girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters to save that world, which in turn saves the real world.”
According to Waterstones, the original book’s synopsis looks a little like this:
“The old woman is ill & her garden is in peril. The good, brave bugs, the doodlebugs, want to help her. So they climb the highest branch of the highest tree to call to the Leaf Men for help. But will they make it past the Spider Queen & her goblins?”
Exactly how closely or loosely the film adapts Joyce’s work isn’t specified, but the prospect of ‘doodlebugs’ sounds pretty damn awesome to me. I’m hoping that name sticks, because it’s brilliant.
Epic is set for release on 24th May, 2013, which currently puts it in the same weekend as both Fast Six (The Fast and the Furious 6) and The Hangover Part III – not necessarily two films you’d want to compete against, so it’s possible we might see that date brought forward or pushed back a little. I’d guess pushed back, because otherwise you’re looking at competing with Iron Man 3 on 3rd May, and the success of The Avengers has clearly shown you don’t want to risk going up against Marvel if you can help it.