Netflix is moving ahead with Escape From Hat, an animated feature from two-time Oscar-nominated director Mark Osborne, who directed The Little Prince and co-directed Kung Fu Panda. Production will start this month in New York for a scheduled release in 2022.
Osborne will direct and produce with Jinko Gotoh. They previously worked on The Little Prince, a film Netflix acquired from Paramount in March 2016. Gotoh also serves as a producer on the 2019 Netflix animated feature film Klaus, from director Sergio Pablos. Adam Kline and Osborne will write and adapt Escape From Hat off a middle-grade novel by Kline that’s being published by HarperCollins in winter 2020. Kline’s screenplay credits include Artemis Fowl.
Escape From Hat is a fairy tale where black cats are bad and magic rabbits are good, and balance is threatened when one such rabbit is cast into a mysterious realm of danger and shadow. He rallies an unexpected band of allies and undertakes an impossible quest to escape from inside a magician’s hat — and return to the human boy he dearly loves.
“Escape From Hat tells a story about friendship and magic, which perfectly mirrors how I feel about getting to reunite with my friend Mark at Netflix after 10 years,” said Melissa Cobb, VP Kids & Family at Netflix, in a statement. “I cannot wait for audiences around the world to immerse themselves in our fantastical magic trick gone awry, where they will find an epic and imaginative world of good versus evil.”
“Netflix is shaking up the animated feature world in highly inventive ways, including offering filmmakers the rare opportunity to turn their dream project into a reality,” said Osborne. “I’m thrilled that Escape From Hat is now one of them.”
“Creative people are the luckiest people on the planet,” added Gotoh. “I’m thrilled to reunite with Mark, Adam, Melissa, and the entire team at Netflix.”
“Every original screenplay needs a little magic,” said Kline. “This one has it on pretty much every page.”