‘Larrikins’: DreamWorks Animation Scraps Musical Starring Aussie Cast Of Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie & Naomi Watts

Tim Minchin announced on his blog that the animated musical Larrikins, which he had been developing for the past four years, has been “shut down.” Sources involved with the film told Deadline that “creatively it just wasn’t working out well.” The movie, which had been pushed around the schedule already had culled together an all-star voice cast who were waiting in the wings including Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Naomi Watts, Rose Byrne and Ben Mendelsohn.

Minchin and Chris Miller were supposed to be directing the animal rock ‘n’ roll musical about a desert-dwelling marsupial known as a bilby who has lived under a rock his entire life before he is kicked out by his parents and told to get a life — and does so by going on a road trip with a band in the Australian Outback. Minchin, composer-lyricist of the five-time Tony-winning Matilda The Musical, was composing the music for Larrikins.

The project was written by Harry Cripps and was being produced by Gregg Taylor, who transitioned from his head of development job at DreamWorks Animation to work on the film. Oh well. The project then made the move from Fox to Universal after the DreamWorks acquisition by NBCUni. It had been pushed once to February 2018, but now the project is over.

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Here is what Minchin wrote:

Hi everyone.

I’ve recently been working in 3 different continents, missing my kids a lot, sleeping too little and not playing piano enough.

And then a couple of days ago, the animated film to which I’ve dedicated the last 4 years of my life was shut down by the new studio execs.

The only way I know how to deal with my impotent fury and sadness is to subject members of the public to the spectacle of me getting drunk and playing ballads.

I suspect I won’t be very funny, I won’t be doing any stand-up, and I might act a bit bitter and spoilt. On the upside, the tickets are as cheap as I could make them, and I might be tempted to buy a round.

Come and drink with me, my friends, and we’ll see what happens.

Love, Tim