A sequel to the 2000 stop-motion animated feature Chicken Run is going to Netflix. We learned today from Empire that the next installment of the escaping poultry now has an official title: Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget.
That title doesn’t feel as clever as what we typically see from Aardman, but maybe it will make more sense later after checking out the official synopsis:
Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk – this time, they’re breaking in!
I guess this means that chicken nuggets or processed poultry fast food products are becoming a thing, and the couple needs to save more chickens from certain death. OK, that makes sense. However, the original film’s setting was before fast food chains started to sprout up. So does this mean the film’s themes will move from The Great Escape to something more in line with James Bond films?
Big changes are coming as far as voice casting goes. Shazam‘s Zachary Levi will not voice the cannon-fired chicken, Rocky. Meanwhile, Westworld‘s Thandiwe Newton will be taking on the role of the brave and determined Ginger. According to Empire, Ginger’s original voice actor Julia Sawalha was saddened not to be returning. Apparently, she was not approached at all.
Mel Gibson had voiced Rocky in the first film from 2000. Since then, the Lethal Weapon star has had more than a couple of public scandals. While these did take place nearly two decades ago, it makes sense that Netflix would want to distance a kids’ film from the actor. However, there will be a very noticeable difference considering how recognizable Mel’s voice is compared to Zachary.
In other Aardman news, Wallace & Gromit will be heading to Netflix, too. Nick Park and Merlin Crossingham will direct the next adventure for the bumbling cheese-obsessed inventor and his clever canine. Unfortunately, details remain scarce aside from this official synopsis:
Gromit’s concern that Wallace has become over-dependant on his inventions proves justified, when Wallace invents a “smart gnome” that seems to develop a mind of its own… As events spiral out of control, it falls to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces – or Wallace may never be able to invent again!
AI on the loose? OK, I can see that being the premise for a classic W&G short. I’m not sure if it is enough material to make another feature-length film, though. On the other hand, I am eager to see more Ben Whitehead as Wallace. The character’s original voice actor, Peter Sallis, passed away, and Whitehead has been the go-to backup voice off and on for over a decade.
For decades now, Aardman has been the leading studio in stop-motion. Will working with Netflix degrade the house of Wallace & Gromit? That’s a personal concern of mine. What do you think of Netflix being the new home for Aardman’s creations? Let us know in the comments section below.
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