When the distribution contract that Paramount Pictures had enjoyed with Dreamworks Animation came to an end in 2012, the studio took the bold step of forming their own, new animation division – Paramount Animations – for the first time since 1967. Jumping straight in, the studio are stomping their foot on the gas with Monster Trucks, which has now added Rob Lowe to its cast list.
But this is not just a Cars imitator with bigger tires – not at all. Plot details are being kept a closely guarded secret, but we do know that this will be a combination of live-action and animation. What this means for the cast – which currently also includes Jane Levy, Barry Pepper, Thomas Lennon, Amy Ryan, Danny Glover and Frank Whaley – is unclear, but with a release date set for May 29, 2015, we will soon find out who will be onscreen, and who will be there in voice only.
Though not yet officially confirmed, it has been persistently rumoured that Chris Wedge will be directing, marking his fourth time behind the wheel after Ice Age, Robots and Epic. Having such a firm foundation in strong animated productions, the live-action part of this film should provide him with a fresh challenge – needing to blend reality with the CGI portions seamlessly, if it is to be effective. He will be working from a script written by Jonathan Aibel (Kung Fu Panda), Glenn Berger (Monsters Vs Aliens) and Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed) – who is about to have a stellar 2015, having also completed work on the script for Jurassic World.
With a budget rumoured to be in the region of $100m, Monster Trucks will join Spongebob Squarepants 2 (due for release February 13, 2015) as the first productions of Paramount Animations – so the stakes are pretty high. We will, of course, keep the engine running – ready to bring you more details, as they are revealed.