Bristol-based animation studio Aardman is primed to round up the flock for a sequel to last year’s sleeper hit, Shaun the Sheep.
Re-teaming with Studiocanal, pre-production on the stop-motion feature will get going early next year, when Richard Starzak will return at the helm. He’ll be directing on his lonesome this time around, however, after it was confirmed that Mark Burton, who co-directed the first film, will not return. Paul Kewley is on board to produce.
Pitched as “another epic and hilarious journey, in what will be their biggest and most exciting adventure yet,” Shaun the Sheep 2 will herald the return of the title character first introduced in Nick Park’s Oscar-winning short, A Close Shave. Little is known about the sequel’s story at this time, though David Sproxton, co-founder and executive chairman of Aardman (Wallace and Gromit), stated, “the flock are very excited to be embarking on another big screen adventure – a rip-roaring comedy that takes them to even greater heights of lunacy.”
Following a debut in Park’s stop-motion short, Shaun the Sheep went on to spawn a TV series in 2007. Aardman and Studiocanal took that legacy and repackaged it for the silver screen last year, when the movie adaptation brought in an impressive $106 million haul worldwide. It was also nominated in the Best Animated Feature category, meaning that confirmation of a sequel shouldn’t be all too surprising.
Studiocanal and Aardman will fire up pre-production on Shaun the Sheep 2 in January. Elsewhere, Early Man is another stop-motion project brewing at the studio; it recently cast Tom Hiddleston ahead of its theatrical release in 2018.