Thursday 23 January 2014

Paperman Director John Kahrs to Helm Feature Film for Paramount Animation

Oscar-winning Paperman director John Kahrs left Disney back at the end of August last year, and we now know what for: the animator-turned-director will helm Shedd for Paramount's recently-established animation division!

Details on Shedd are few; we have no idea when the film is due, nor what it's about. But the announcement from Variety does state that the film is being scripted by Tripper Clancy,"based on an original idea from Paramount’s Film Group president Adam Goodman, who oversees the animation division." That, though, is all we know.

Born from the success of Gore Verbinski's Oscar-winner Rango, and the end of Paramount's distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation (who now release through Fox), Paramount Animation is looking for a hit. So it makes sense that they'd want talent the calibre of John Kahrs on their team. And from Kahrs's perspective, he gets to direct his own feature now at Paramount - something that would be at least a few years off at Disney, due to "an abundance of projects," as Kahrs himself put it, already in development at the studio.

John Kahs at the Wreck-It Ralph premiere with Paperman producer Kristina Reed, and Disney/Pixar
CCO John Lasseter.

Paramount's first animated pic will be a belated sequel to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which hits in February 2015. They'll also release the live-action/CG hybrid Monster Trucks, directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Rio), in May of the same year. (More details on the studio's upcoming slate here.) Kahrs has animated on The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Tangled (on which he was animation supervisor), Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and more, but this will be his first feature directorial gig.

It's a shame it won't be happening at Disney, but I'm very glad to see such a talented guy getting his chance to direct a feature. We wish John Kahrs the best of luck! Not that he'll need it.

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