Last June we reported that the late Sir Terry Prachett’s novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents was going to be made into an English language animated feature. Now there’s a new development, because money has started to change hands. Ulysses Filmproduktion has now announced that Global Screen has acquired has picked up worldwide distribution rights except for North America, the United Kingdom, and German-speaking territories.
Producer Emely Christians, also the CEO of Ulysses Filmproduktion, says of the project, “‘If you don’t turn your life into a story, you become part of someone else’s story,’ says Melissa, the young female lead in The Amazing Maurice. I loved the way Melissa presented her attitude to life in this one sentence. When I read it, I knew we had to turn this amazing novel into an amazing film. The Amazing Maurice will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses’ complete focus and attention to detail to fulfil our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story.”
Andrew Baker, CEO of Cantilever Media, is producing with Fraulein Christians. Roddy MacManus is executive producer; he produced Ultramarines: a Warhammer 40,000 Movie and the TV series Robozuna. Toby Genkel, who directed Oops! Noah Is Gone, will be directing The Amazing Maurice. Terry Rossio who wrote Disney’s Aladdin, is writing the script based on Sir Terry’s novel.
The Amazing Maurice is one of Sir Terry’s popular Discworld novels. It won the Carnegie Award from Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, recognizing it as the best children’s book published in the UK in 2001. It’s loosely based on the legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” which was first recorded by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. It’s about a streetwise cat with a horde of highly educated rats, who concocts a moneymaking scheme by exploiting a young piper with his own horde of highly educated rats. Their con goes wrong in the town of Bad Blintz, where something eldritch is happening. Suddenly it’s a rat-eat-rat world, and Maurice’s rodents are right in the thick of it.
Tobis Film is the German co-production partner for this film; they will also handle distribution rights for German-speaking territories.
If all goes well, The Amazing Maurice should be ready for theatrical release in 2022.
Global Screen will begin pre-selling The Amazing Maurice at AFM (the week-long American Film Market held at the beginning of November every year).