EXCLUSIVE: Blumhouse Productions is making its first foray into feature animation, teaming with sister Universal-based label DreamWorks Animation to develop a feature tentatively titled Spooky Jack. The script is being written by Night at the Museum‘s Robert Ben Garant, based on his original idea.
The concept is a darkly comedic look at the world of “eerie” things that are conjured from the imaginations of children – from the Monsters Under Your Bed to Leprechauns, Boogeymen, Bigfoot and the Chupacabra – about which parents for years have offered the assurance that “there is no such thing.” In Spooky Jack, three siblings move into a new house and accidentally discover that the monstrous things they’ve been told don’t exist, do exist – and they are as afraid of us as we are of them.
DreamWorks Animation’s Damon Ross will produce and Blumhouse’s Jason Blum will be exec producer. The project started at Blumhouse as a live-action feature script by Garant, who wrote Jessabelle and The Veil for the genre label. DreamWorks Feature Animation Group president Chris deFaria has been looking to make a family-oriented scary animated film since working on The Corpse Bride at Warner Bros. While Blum never cracked Spooky Jack in live action, it made perfect sense for the feature animation format when DWA’s Ross reached out.
DeFaria called the project “a touching and funny story that allows us to take audiences deep into folklore from around the globe and create several truly memorable animated characters in addition to a visually unique world inside our own. We here at DreamWorks are extremely proud we were able to lure Jason over to the light side for this film.”
Said Blum: “We’ve worked with Ben before and when he brought us this idea, we all realized it would make a great animated feature. It’s a testament to the remarkably collaborative environment that Universal fosters among its creative family that we’re now jumping into animation in the very capable hands of Chris deFaria and the talented DreamWorks team. We are having a ton of fun with this original, funny and totally relatable take on what happens when kids join forces with the monsters and ghouls who live among us.” Garant is repped by UTA and Principato-Young.