EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his directorial debut Get Out, Jordan Peele is at the center of a most intriguing feature re-team with Keegan-Michael Key, his longtime partner on the Emmy-winning Comedy Central series Key and Peele. Netflix has committed to finance and distribute Wendell and Wild, a stop-motion animated feature to be directed by James and the Giant Peach helmer Henry Selick. Key and Peele will supply the voices for two scheming demon brothers.
The film will be produced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein for The Gotham Group, Peele via his Monkeypaw banner and Selick. Sarah Serata will co-produce. Executive producers are Win Rosenfeld for Monkeypaw, Peter Principato and Joel Zadak for Principato-Young, and Lindsay Williams and Eddie Gamarra for Gotham Group.
Pic is based on an original idea by Selick, the stop-motion virtuoso whose other films include Coraline and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Selick is separately developing a television adaptation of the video game Little Nightmares with Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO.
Selick is writing the script with Peele and Clay McLeod Chapman. While the movie moves forward, a deal has been made with Simon & Schuster for a book to be written by Chapman and Selick to be published around the film’s release.
Acclaimed Argentinian artist Pablo Lobato will be designing the characters for Wendell and Wild.
This marks the second Netflix foray into a high-profile stop-motion animated film. Netflix won an auction at last Cannes for the stop-motion animated Bubbles, a film about Michael Jackson’s beloved pet chimp. That film is based on Isaac Adamson’s Black List-topping screenplay that is being co-directed by Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox).
Selick is repped by The Gotham Group, Key by UTA and Peele by CAA and Principato-Young.
Peele’s Universal-based Monkeypaw is percolating the next live-action thriller that Peele is writing to direct, as well as the Spike Lee-directed Black Klansman, the true story of an African American detective who infiltrated the KKK. Pic reunites the Get Out producing team and will be released by Focus.
On the small screen, Monkeypaw is teamed with Bad Robot and Misha Green on Lovecraft Country for HBO, an anthology sci-fi thriller with genre storytelling from an African American perspective. A man embarks on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find his missing father. He runs into both racist terror of white America and malevolent spirits and monsters ripped from a Lovecraft paperback. Monkeypaw is also producing the Tracy Morgan series The Last O.G. for TBS, and a reboot of The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, among other projects.