20th Century Fox is funding the development of Fortunately, the Milk, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's children’s novel, with Animal Logic Entertainment and Johnny Depp's production company Infinitum Nihil.
CAA shopped the project to the Hollywood studios. Fox got the nod because the studio “expressed the most enthusiasm and is keen to fast track into production,” says Animal Logic Entertainment CEO Zareh Nalbandian, who will produce with Nihil’s Christi Dembrowski, who is Depp’s sister.
“It’s our first collaboration with Fox and we are genuinely excited to be working with them,” adds Zareh, who is keen to shoot the hybrid live action/animation feature in Sydney.
Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Shaun of the Dead) is attached to direct, with the script to be written by Kiwi Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords). The scripting, concept design and working out the logistics could take 12-18 months, he said.
The plot follows a father who goes to buy milk for his children’s breakfast cereal only to be abducted by aliens, thrown into a time vortex, captured by pirates, and befriended by a time travelling dinosaur.
Nalbandian optioned the novel in 2013 after befriending Gaiman while the latter was on a book reading tour in Sydney and gave him a tour of Animal Logic's facility. They agreed to look for a project on which they could work together.
The film was initially envisioned as a fully animated work but after Wright came on board the hybrid concept evolved. Gaiman originally was prepared to write the screenplay but Wright suggested McKenzie, who is a good friend. “We love the tone of his screenplays,” Zareh said.
Animal Logic Entertainment, Gaiman and Wright are all repped by CAA. “Johnny loves the book and is committed to being in the film,” he said.