The Amazing Maurice in development
by Kaleem Aftab
- Germany’s Ulysses FilmProduktion and Ireland’s Cantilever Media are to turn Sir Terry Pratchett’s best-selling novel into an animated film
A new animated family film based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s 28th Discworld novel, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, which was the first Discworld book to be aimed at children, is to be developed by Germany’s Ulysses FilmProduktion and Ireland’s Cantilever Media. The screenplay has been written by award-winning writer Terry Rossio (Shrek, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean), with the character designs by Carter Goodrich (Ratatouille, The Croods, Brave).
The film will be called The Amazing Maurice and is being directed by Toby Genkel. The animated adventure is being produced by Ulysses Filmproduktion’s CEO, Emely Christians, and Cantilever Media founder Andrew Barker, alongside animation studios Studio Rakete and Squeeze Animation. Roddy McManus and Robert Chandler are attached as executive producers.
A lively and entertaining adventure, The Amazing Maurice is inspired by the German fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin and is a parody of the folk-tale genre. Pratchett won the annual Carnegie Medal – children’s literature’s highest honour – for the book, which was first published by Doubleday in 2001.
In it, Maurice, a streetwise cat, has the perfect money-making scam: he’s found a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe and his very own horde of rats – rats who are strangely educated, and literate… However, when Maurice and the rodents reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, their little con goes down the drain, for someone there is playing a different tune. Something very, very bad is waiting in the cellars. It’s a rat-eat-rat world down there, and the educated rats must learn a new word... Evil.
Emely Christians, producer and CEO of Ulysses Filmproduktion, commented: “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 ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses’ complete focus and attention to detail in order to allow us to fulfil our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story.”
Andrew Baker, producer and CEO of Cantilever Media, said: “Terry Rossio’s screenplay twists and turns, and produces an unexpected yet heart-warming ending, with Carter Goodrich’s designs bringing these characters to life with their own unique style, which I’m sure audiences will love.”
The rights to The Amazing Maurice were obtained from Narrativia, an independent production company launched in 2012 by Sir Terry Pratchett, which owns and controls the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all of his works.