Hand-drawn animation master Moore will direct the 2D sequences of the stop-motion film, working aside his frequent collaborator Fabian Erlinghäuser, who was an animator on Moore’s Wolfwalkers, the Apple TV+ movie that is vying for the Animated Feature Oscar this weekend.
The Inventor will encompass both 2D and puppet animation, the latter sequences to be directed by Capobianco, who also penned the screenplay. The $10 million movie is now in pre-production, with delivery scheduled for spring 2023. As Deadline previously revealed, voice cast include Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley, Marion Cotillard and Matt Berry.
The story follows the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci, tracking how the insatiably curious and headstrong Italian inventor joins the French court, where he can experiment freely, inventing flying contraptions, incredible machines, and study the human body. He is joined in his adventure by the audacious Princess Marguerite, who will help him uncover the answer to the ultimate question: what is the meaning of it all?
France’s Mk2 Films is handling international sales, with The Exchange overseeing U.S. rights.
“Tomm and I have been looking to work together ever since The Secret of Kells and my short film Leonardo played together at film festivals,” said Capobianco. “It is only fitting to collaborate on The Inventor, a film that combines both puppet animation and 2D drawn animation, and will require an exceptional talent like Tomm. The grand vision being to make an animated film as if it were helmed by Leonardo da Vinci himself.”
“The response to the announcement of The Inventor has been incredible and the project just keeps growing in stature,” added Fionnuala Jamison, head of Mk2 films. “We couldn’t hope for a more talented director than Tomm Moore for the hand-drawn sequences in the film. Moore’s exquisite fairylike style appeals to children and adults alike and has the richness required to bring Da Vinci’s dreams to the screen in these key sequences.”
Producers on The Inventor are Robert Rippberger and Capobianco. Executive producers are Don Hahn, Ilan Urroz, Ellen Byrne, Vince McCarthy, Kat Alioshin, Stéphan Roelants, Carmella Casinelli, Jeremy Walton, David Lyons, Ryan Clarkson, Eric Vonfeldt, Lorenz Evans, Steve Muench and Sita Saviolo. The film is a European and American co-production from Foliascope (France), Melusine Productions (Luxembourg), Curiosity Studio (Ireland) and Leo & King (U.S.).