EXCLUSIVE: Jason Mantzoukas has been set to write Battling Boy at Paramount, with Plan B producing and Patrick Osborne directing. The live-action/animated hybrid project is an adaptation of Paul Pope’s acclaimed graphic novel set in the city of Arcopolis, where monsters roam the streets and swallow children into the underworld. Into this world come two young protagonists — one a 12-year-old demi-god, the other the daughter of a highflying hero who has tragically died in battle — as their paths cross as they battle to save the city. It is being fast-tracked by Paramount.
The versatile Mantzoukas has spent his career jumping in front of and behind the camera. He co-starred on FX’s recently wrapped comedy series The League and Amazon’s Transparent and appeared in The Dictator, Baby Mama and Neighbors. His writing credits include the Ice Cube-Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along. He also is one of the writers on The Donor, a feature set up at Paramount with The Daily Show‘s Ben Karlin and Jon Stewart producing.
Mantzoukas next will be seen in Dan Mazer’s Dirty Grandpa, opposite Robert De Niro and Zak Efron, and also Christian Ditter’s How To Be Single with Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann. He is repped by UTA and Rise Management.
Osborne, who won the Best Animated Short Oscar for 2014’s Feast with Kristina Reed, is a much in-demand animator who has worked on the likes of Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero 6. Battling Boy will be his feature directorial debut.