EXCLUSIVE: Animation studio ShadowMachine and director Mark Gustafson picked up the Oscar for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio on Sunday night and they’ve wasted no time setting up their next project.
The company, which was co-founded by Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico, and Gustafson are now developing Milepost 88, an animated mystery series.
Based on an original idea from Gustafson, the series follows two brothers, who run an old gas station deep in the Great Basin desert of Nevada, when their lives are upended by a passing stranger who unlocks a mystery involving their family history. The puzzle further unfolds in 1969 with the exploits of a reluctant cosmonaut as he tries to be the first man to reach the moon. As these parallel stories cross time and space, they reveal truths about love, ambition, and brake fluid.
Gustafson, Bulkley, and Campodonico will exec produce.
After Netflix’s Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 95th Academy Awards, del Toro made a plea for the future of animation. “Animation is not a genre and animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us keep animation in the conversation.”
The stop-motion feature film also picked up a slew of other awards during the season including a BAFTA, a Golden Globe as well as wins at the Annie Awards Producers Guild, and Critics Choice Awards.
Gustafson co-directed the film with del Toro. He is also behind projects including The PJs, Mr. Resistor and several California Raisin and Claymation specials after being animation director for Wes Anderson’s Oscar-nominated Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Meanwhile, ShadowMachine is currently developing del Toro’s next animated feature film, The Buried Giant, based on the fantasy novel by author Kazuo Ishiguro, for Netflix.
It is also behind series such as BoJack Horseman, Robot Chicken, Final Space, Tuca & Bertie and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s Clone High reboot.
Gustafson said, “Now that we’ve set a certain famous wooden boy loose on the world, I’m excited to launch another great adventure of my own in stop motion animation. After years of careful creative gestation, I’m thrilled Milepost 88 has found a home with ShadowMachine and I look forward to teaming again with Alex and Corey.”
“In addition to being an absolute legend in stop-motion animation, Mark Gustafson is one of the greatest storytellers working in cinema today. The entire team at ShadowMachine, Corey, and I are fired up about bringing Mark’s latest creative vision to life,” added Bulkley.
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