Following the success of Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book earlier this year, CG live-action is becoming an increasingly appealing prospect for Hollywood studios. Fox is jumping aboard that trend by optioning the very popular, bi-monthly, independent comic book series Mouse Guard for adaptation – with Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) writing the screenplay.
Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) will produce the project, which will see the characters of these graphic novels brought to life. The source material first launched in 2006, and was created by David Petersen. It tells the story of medieval, anthropomorphic mice, and the way in which they protect their community from predators and foe. With ten years of storytelling to play with, in addition to a number of spinoff series, Fox will be hoping that Mouse Guard will be the beginning of a brand new franchise opportunity for the studio.
Mouse Guard is in the very early stages of development, and a director has yet to be announced. This choice will be an interesting one, since CG live-action is still a relatively unexplored area in terms of big-budget studio movies. The Jungle Book has arguably been the most successful to date, although there is a different version in production, helmed by Andy Serkis.
Personally, I’d like to see a filmmaker like Larysa Kondracki take the Mouse Guard reins. She’s best known for directing television (Better Call Saul, among many others), but has carved an impressive career from the use of highly innovative framing and camera techniques. A CG live-action adaptation of a graphic novel series would surely be entirely within her wheelhouse.
As for the cast, the source material provides a range of interesting characters – both male and female – of different natures. Some are healers, some are swords experts, while others are expert strategists or craftworkers. Given the high profile potential of Mouse Guard, we can expect more than a few notable names lining up to voice the CG rodents, by the time cameras begin to roll.