DreamWorks Animation Cancels Larrikins

Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts

by James White |
Published on

With the arrival of new boss Chris "From The Executive Producer Of" Meledandri, DreamWorks Animation has begun a tough cull of some of its projects in development. The Croods sequel was a previous victim of the new regime, and now composer-turned-director Tim Minchin brings word that Australia-set musical movie Larrikins, which had Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Margot Robbie and more in its cast, has similarly been terminated.

Larrikins, which takes its name from an Aussie term for a mischievous or rebellious young person, was to have followed a desert-dwelling marsupial known as a bilby, who has spent the majority of his life literally living under a rock. But then his parents order him to get out and make something of his life, so he goes on a road trip with a band in the Outback.

Minchin, the man behind stage musicals based on Matilda and Groundhog Day, was writing the songs and also stepped up to direct alongside Puss In Boots' Chris Miller. But he hit his blog at the weekend to relate the disappointing new development. "I’ve recently been working in 3 different continents, missing my kids a lot, sleeping too little and not playing piano enough," Minchin wrote. "And then a couple of days ago, the animated film to which I’ve dedicated the last 4 years of my life was shut down by the new studio execs. The only way I know how to deal with my impotent fury and sadness is to subject members of the public to the spectacle of me getting drunk and playing ballads."

Right now, DreamWorks, which has been reorganising its slate, will release The Boss Baby here on 7 April, followed by Captain Underpants On 28 July. Me And My Shadow was taking aim at next year (though that one seems to have gone quiet), with the third entry in reliable franchise How To Train Your Dragon set for 2019. We'll see what happens with other movies still waiting to learn their fate...

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