THE AMAZING MAURICE WILL BE THE FIRST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM ADAPTATION OF A SIR TERRY PRATCHETT BOOK.
The new family animated film is based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s 28th “Discworld” Novel, and the first “Discworld” novel written for children, “The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents”.
LONDON – 11th June 2019 – On the heels of the launch of the new hit Amazon Prime series ‘Good Omens’ ULYSSES FILMPRODUKTION and CANTILEVER MEDIA announced today the development of a new animated family film, “The Amazing Maurice” based on one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s wildly popular “Discworld” novels, which have sold more than 90 million books worldwide. The screenplay is written by award winning writer Terry Rossio (Shrek, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean), with the character designs by Carter Goodrich (Ratatouille, The Croods, Brave).
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a children’s fantasy by Sir Terry Pratchett, published by Doubleday in 2001. It was the 28th novel in the Discworld series but the first written for children. The Amazing Maurice is a lively and entertaining adventure inspired by the German fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin and a parody of the folk tale genre. Pratchett won the annual Carnegie Medal for the book – children’s literature’s highest award. Despite many other awards, honorary degrees and the knighthood that followed, Sir Terry Pratchett always emphasized that this was the award of which he was most proud.
Maurice, a streetwise cat, has the perfect money-making scam. He’s found a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe, and his very own horde of rats – rats who are strangely educated, and literate, so Maurice can no longer think of them as “lunch”. And everyone knows the stories about rats and pipers... However, when Maurice and the rodents reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, their little con goes down the drain. For someone there is playing a different tune. A dark, shadowy tune. Something very, very bad is waiting in the cellars. It’s not a game anymore. It’s a rat-eat-rat world down there and the educated rats must learn a new word...EVIL.
Emely Christians, Producer and CEO of Ulysses Filmproduktion commented: “’If you don’t turn your life into a story, you become part of someone else’s story,’ says Melissa, the young female lead in The Amazing Maurice. I loved the way Melissa presented her attitude to life in this one sentence. When I read it, I knew we had to turn this amazing novel into an amazing film. The Amazing Maurice will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses’ complete focus and attention to detail to fulfil our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story.”
Andrew Baker, Producer and CEO of Cantilever Media, said: “As a lifelong Pratchett fan, bringing to the screen one of his most cherished novels is going to be immensely exciting. Terry Rossio’s screenplay twists and turns and produces an unexpected yet heart-warming ending, with Carter Goodrich’s designs bringing these characters to life in their own unique style, which I’m sure audiences will love”.
Rob Wilkins, Executive Producer and Managing Director of Narrativia, said: “At some point in the late nineties I sat at the polished bar in the Palace Hotel San Francisco enjoying a bottle of local beer with Terry Pratchett. It had been a long day and neither of us had yet eaten and we were less than interested in the baseball game playing loudly on the TV hanging above us. However, we were both very interested in the sixteen foot wide Maxfield Parrish painting of the Pied Piper of Hamelin hanging proudly behind the bar, where it had been on display since 1909. “He does beautiful skies,” said Terry. And, yes, he really did and I agreed, but Terry seemed lost in the painting and so I finished my beer and ordered another. By the time it arrived Terry had sketched out the plot for The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents and had played it directly into my brain like a mini movie. They were indeed broad strokes, but the story was there and he had already named Malicia, Peaches, Sardines and – to his great delight – Darktan. That was the genius of Terry Pratchett; he could see stories everywhere. And now he would be delighted with the character designs of Carter Goodrich. Bringing this story to life was so important to Terry and it upsets me that he won’t get to see the finished film, but the teams at Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media are honouring his vision and I am absolutely delighted”.
Roddy McManus and Robert Chandler are attached as Executive Producers. The Amazing Maurice is produced by Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media, with animation studios Studio Rakete and Squeeze Animation. The Amazing Maurice is produced by Emely Christians and Andrew Baker, and directed by Toby Genkel.
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT ULYSSES FILMPRODUKTION
Voted animation “Producer of the Year” at Cartoon Movie 2016 and nominated as “Producer of the Year” 2017. Ulysses Filmproduktion, one of the most active European production companies of high-quality and commercially successful animation films, is based in Hamburg, Germany. The company developed and produced the world wide sold 3D animated films “Luis & The Aliens” (released 2018), which was also picked up by Warner UK and “Ooops! Noah is gone...” (aka “Two by Two”, “All Creatures Big and Small”), which was a huge box office success in many territories such as UK, France, Poland and South America. Ulysses is currently in production with the sequel “Ooops!2”, will release “bayala – The Movie” worldwide in 2019 and produced several other animated family movies for the international market. More features and a TV Series with global exploitation potential are in the development pipeline. www.ulyssesfilms.de
ABOUT CANTILEVER MEDIA
Cantilever Media is based in Dublin, Ireland and is founded by Andrew Baker, previously co-founder of Kidscave Entertainment, producer of the Netflix Original / ITV animated cgi kids series “Robozuna”, distribited by ITV Global and with Bandai as UK master toy licensee. Founded in 2018, The Amazing Maurice is the company’s first feature production and further animated and live action projects for film and television are currently in development. www.cantilevergroup.co.uk
Narrativia is an independent production company, launched in 2012 by Sir Terry Pratchett. The company owns and controls the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all of Sir Terry's works, including his “Discworld” characters and creations. The company is headed by Managing Director Rob Wilkins and celebrated writer Rhianna Pratchett.
ABOUT EMELY CHRISTIANS
CEO and Executive Producer for Ulysses Films and producer of award-winning films including “Richard the Stork” (Bayerischer Filmpreis “Best Children’s Film 2018”) and “Ooops! Noah is gone...” (“Goldener Spatz 2015”, Germany’s most important prize dedicated to Children’s films). Currently she is in production with her tenth theatrical feature film, “Bayala – The Movie”, based on the extremely successful, global bayala brand of German toy producer Schleich. Among others she produced the worldwide success “Niko & The Way to the Stars” together with co-producers from Finland, Denmark and Ireland, as well as the sequel “Niko 2 – Little Brother, Big Trouble”. In 2016 Emely Christians was awarded with the European Producer of the Year Award by Cartoon Media association for “Ooops! Noah is gone...”.
ABOUT ANDREW BAKER
CEO and founder of Cantilever Media, Andrew Baker is a producer and executive producer across film and television and was a co-producer on the documentary feature ‘I Am Duran” (2019, Universal) and Executive Producer on ‘Robozuna’ – a Netflix Original / ITV cgi animated series. Andrew was Executive Producer on ‘Buena Vista Social Club – Adios’ (2017, Broad Green) and is currently in production on a new CBBC series.
Andrew was founder and MD of Rights TV, the UK’s largest business affairs consultancy, representing over 400 production companies, rights owners and producers which was acquired by Compact Media in 2011 and was previously Head of Business Affairs at ITV Kids, Cosgrove Hall Films and Granada Film and SVP for Legal and Business Affairs at Granada Entertainment, based in LA. Andrew is an external director for Ingenious Media, consults for US media law firm SmithDehn LLP and is a Non-Executive Director for a number of UK factual production and distribution companies. Andrew is a huge Terry Pratchett fan.
ABOUT TOBY GENKEL
Toby is an experienced animation director who has worked with Ulysses Films on several projects and directed their recent award-winning films “Richard, the Stork” (released 2017) and “Ooops! Noah is gone...” (released 2015). Originally a storyboard artist and designer for numerous animated films, Toby has directed several successful animated features and has a clear vision of how The Amazing Maurice can be realised.
ABOUT TERRY ROSSIO
Terry Rossio is an award-winning writer and producer whose credits include Aladdin, Shrek, and all five Pirates of the Caribbean films. Terry’s adaptation is ingenious; he has created a screenplay that retains the essential spirit and tone of the original book, but which is also a lively and entertaining adventure, keeping the high quality and humour of Pratchett’s characters and dialogue.
ABOUT CARTER GOODRICH
Carter Goodrich’s career as an award-winning freelance illustrator began in 1983, when he shared studio space with longtime friend and fellow illustrator, Buck Lewis, in New York City. His book and editorial work eventually led to the publication of seventeen New Yorker covers, and counting. Carter’s first role in film work came as lead character designer for DreamWorks’ first feature animated film, “Prince of Egypt”, in 1995. He then went on to work on such films as “Finding Nemo”, “Monsters Inc.”, “Shrek”, “Spirit”, “Sinbad”, “Open Season”, on which he worked as art director/character design, “Despicable Me” as lead character designer, “Hotel Transylvania”, and most recently “The Croods” and “Brave”, both as lead character designer. His work on these films resulted in six ASIFA Annie Award nominations for best character design in a feature animated film, winning the ANNIE in 2007 for “Ratatouille” and again in 2014 for “The Croods”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015), was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels. Pratchett, with more than 90 million books sold worldwide in 37 languages, was the UK’s best-selling author of the 1990s. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and was knighted for services to literature in 2009. In 2001 he won the annual Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, the first Discworld book for children. He received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010. Sir Terry Pratchett died on 12 March 2015 aged 66.
© Narrativia Ltd.