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D'works steals Disney man

03.28.2007

Chris Sanders was a promising talent at Disney where he had directed LILO AND STITCH, one of the few promising original films Disney had churned out in the post-LION KING era. His next film, AMERICAN DOG, was highly anticipated at the studio. Then Pixar returned with a little more clout at Disney and began to reevaluate existing films. Notes were given to Sanders about DOG and how he could improve the film. Those notes were not appreciated and rather than compromise his film, Sanders refused. Across town, DreamWorks had planned to make the animated film CROOD AWAKENING, a caveman comedy written by John Cleese, with Aardman who they'd shared success with on CHICKEN RUN and WALLACE AND GROMIT. Then FLUSHED AWAY tanked and cost the studio millions. DreamWorks dropped Aardman and reappropriated CROOD. Now here's where we get to the news. DreamWorks has convinced Sanders, who had worked at Disney for over 20 years, to work at their studio to direct a retooled version of CROOD AWAKENING. Though a script for CROOD exists, Sanders will significantly "rethink" the project and do a "significant rewrite." How will all this sit with Cleese who brought the project to DreamWorks? Dunno. Considering the almost complete restart, don't expect to see CROOD in theaters until 2010 or 2011. As for AMERICAN DOG, Disney brought in Chris Williams (MULAN) to get the film ready for its 2008 release.

Extra Tidbit: Any thoughts on what Aardman might do for their next film?...
Source: Variety

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