EXCLUSIVE: Disney is in development on an untitled fantasy-adventure animation film with Crazy Rich Asians screenwriter Adele Lim and Moana producer Osnat Shurer.
Disney story artists Paul Briggs (Frozen) and Dean Wellins (Zootopia) are attached to make their directorial debuts on the project which is being set up at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Plot is being kept under wraps but I understand the movie has an Asian element running through it and a female protagonist. It is a theatrical feature rather than one for Disney’s upcoming streaming service and the team is currently going through the casting process for the lead.
Disney development exec Shurer was previously head of Pixar’s short films output. She then produced Disney’s Oscar-nominated hit Moana, which crossed $640M at the worldwide box office. It sounds like this new movie could have some thematic similarities to that film, which followed the strong-willed daughter of a Polynesian village chief. However, I hear it is not musically-infused like Moana.
Lim is in high-demand after the global success of Warner’s Crazy Rich Asians. The Malaysia-born LA-based writer and TV exec has also worked on series including Lethal Weapon, Reign and Star-Crossed. She is also working on a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians.
Briggs was a story artist on Zootopia and Tangled and head of story on Big Hero 6 and Frozen, both of which he also provided voices for. Wellins was a story artist on Zootopia, Big Hero 6 and Tangled.
Disney declined to comment.
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