Lion King Director Rob Minkoff Sets Up Two New Movies


by Owen Williams |
Published on

Best known for directing animated classics like The Lion King, Stuart Little and Mr Peabody And Sherman, Rob Minkoff has just set up two new projects, thanks to a deal with Chinese studio Le Vision Pictures. The company's LA arm will join Minkoff in developing Silkworms and Wolf Totem.

Based on a true story, Minkoff describes Silkworms as "the first case of industrial espionage in history". The live-action comedy will tell the story of two bumbling monks in ancient China, sent by the Holy Roman Emperor to steal the secrets of silk production.

Wolf Totem, meanwhile, is based on the 2004 novel by Lu Jiamin. His semi-autobiographical tale involves a young student from Beijing sent to the countryside of Inner Mongolia in 1967 during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. There he learns about the bond the Mongolian shepherds share with the indigenous wolves, and the threat to the ancient tradition from government interference. Jean-Jacques Annaud filmed the story last year in live-action, but Minkoff's will be an animated take from the wolves' point-of-view. "It's what animation does best," he says.

No stranger to Chinese-American co-productions, Minkoff made The Forbidden Kingdom, based on the Monkey legends of Wu Cheng'En, in 2008, starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

"Silkworms and Wolf Totem are perfect examples of the ambitious, cross-over projects we look for,” says Le Vision's chief Zhang Zhau. “As one of Hollywood’s most established and constantly creative talents, Rob is exactly who we look for in a long-term partner, and someone whose passion for each project matches our own."

Neither project has a start-date so far.

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