Lionsgate acquires U.S. distribution rights to Aardman & StudioCanal film 'Early Man'
Today, Lionsgate announced it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the animated comedy adventure ‘Early Man’ from Aardman and STUDIOCANAL.
The film will be released by the Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label. Lionsgate will also represent licensing and merchandising for the film in the territory. The last collaboration between Lionsgate, STUDIOCANAL and Aardman resulted in the critically-acclaimed, Academy Award®-nominated Shaun the Sheep Movie.
‘Early Man’ is directed by Nick Park (Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit films) and will be released in the U.S. on February 16, 2018 following STUDIOCANAL’s European release. The film was supported by the British Film Institute (BFI) with National Lottery funding.
“We’re excited to be working again with our long-time partner STUDIOCANAL and reuniting with our friends at Aardman,” said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and President of the Motion Picture Group Steve Beeks. “We truly enjoyed collaborating with them on Shaun the Sheep Movie, which earned an Oscar nomination for best animated feature, and we look forward to bringing Nick’s great new family adventure to our audiences.”
“We are delighted to be working with Aardman again, one of the most accomplished production studios in the world, following the global success of Shaun and to also continue our relationship with key partner Lionsgate,” said Didier Lupfer, Chairman and CEO, STUDIOCANAL. “This is a great opportunity to bring another incredible animated feature from Nick Park to moviegoers worldwide, and we’re excited that ‘Early Man’ will join Lionsgate’s blockbuster slate in the U.S.”
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with STUDIOCANAL and Lionsgate, two powerhouse companies, on Nick’s hilarious new film,” said Aardman’s Co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton. “Nick, the cast and the rest of our filmmakers have created a prehistoric comedy in which we take great pride.”
Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, ‘Early Man’ tells the story of how plucky caveman Dug, along with sidekick Hognob, unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game. ‘Early Man’ unleashes an unforgettable cast of hilarious new characters and marks Nick Park’s first feature film since Academy Award® winning Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit.
‘Early Man’ features voices from a star-studded cast including Academy Award® winner Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Theory of Everything and Les Miserables) who plays Dug, Tom Hiddleston (Thor and The Avengers franchise, High-Rise, King Kong: Skull Island) Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones, Cyberbully, Doctor Who and forthcoming X-Men: New Mutants) and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter series, Alice in Wonderland) alongside other exciting British comedy talent. STUDIOCANAL will distribute the film in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
Redmayne is represented by CAA, United Agents, Parseghian Planco and Untitled Entertainment. Williams is represented by Louise Johnston and WME. Hiddleston is represented by WME and Hamilton Hodell.
Lionsgate will also distribute STUDIOCANAL’s thriller The Commuter in the U.S. The film stars Liam Neeson and is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a script by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi.
The partnership between Lionsgate and STUDIOCANAL includes STUDIOCANAL’s distribution of Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment films in Germany, Australia and New Zealand while Lionsgate handles STUDIOCANAL’s vast film library in North America.