EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has landed an untitled pitch that Oscar-winning animation director Patrick Osborne will helm from a script that will be written by Emma Needell. The plot is being held under wraps, but it’s in the vein of The Jungle Book and The Wizard of Oz that centers on a young boy who travels to a fantasy world in his dreams to break away from reality. Bard Dorros, Tariq Merhab and Charlie Scully from Anonymous Content are producing.
Osborne is the Oscar-winning director of the short film Feast and the Oscar-nominated VR short Pearl. As an animator at Disney, his projects included Bolt, Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. He was head of animation on the Oscar-nominated short Paper Man and is in production on his first feature, the Marc Haimes-scripted Nimona for Fox and producer Roy Lee. He also is attached to direct Battling Boy for Paramount and Plan B, with Jason Mantzoukas writing.
Needell’s first script, The Water Man, made the 2015 Black List. The film is coming out of turnaround at Disney with David Oyelowo attached to star and produce along with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films.
This is the third ambitious feature for Anonymous Content with Netflix, joining the David Mackenzie-directed Outlaw King in production with Chris Pine starring as Robert the Bruce as he leads Scotland to freedom; and Hummingbird Salamander, based on the Jeff VanderMeer book, which will be produced by Sugar23.
Osborne and Needell are repped by WME and Anonymous Content. Osborne is also repped by attorney Matthew Wallerstein, and Needell by Melissa Fox at HJTH.