Amandla Stenberg, Laura Dern, Donald Sutherland, Djimon Hounsou, RuPaul and Dean-Charles Chapman are set join the ensemble cast of the upcoming animated pic Ozi. Stenberg will voice the film’s title character, Dern will voice her mother, Sutherland will voice and albino crocodile, Hounsou voices Ozi’s father, Chapman voices Chance, Ozi’s guide and RuPaul voices Gurd, Mr Smiley’s son and heir.
The film focusses on deforestation in the Indonesian rainforest, following the story of a teenage orangutan, Ozi, who is orphaned when her forest home is burnt down. It was created by the brains behind the children’s television global smash and recent movie Paw Patrol, Keith Chapman, whose creations have grossed $15.4 Billion.
Mike Medavoy and Appian Way Productions are co-producing the movie.
“It is a real pleasure to be part of Ozi, a film which has brought together creative minds from across the globe – spearheaded by talent from the UK – and I am happy that we have secured a stellar cast,” said Medavoy.
Their appointment brings an important international dimension to the UK-financed film’s mission to raise awareness of deforestation. Three key charity partners are contracted to the film and will benefit from future profits.
Ozi, which is produced and financed by the UK company, GCI Film, is in full animation with voices being recorded in July and is due for release in Summer 2022. Distribution conversations will be starting shortly. GCI Film is working with Paris-based Mikros Technicolor, led by Rodrigo Blaas, an EMMY-award-winner for the series Trollhunters. Other credits include Pixar’s WALL-E, The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
“It is a testament to the strength of the Ozi story that we have brought such influential partners and expertise on board,” said Adam Stanhope, co-founder of GCI film. “We knew that we had to assemble a global team to shine a light on an issue which can only be solved by concerted international action, so we are delighted to announce today that we have the backing of these Hollywood icons.”
The screenplay is written by Ricky Roxburgh and the film is being directed by first timer Tim Harper. The film has an authentic and unique look and feel, including an Indonesian composer, in order to stay in tune with the overall message.