‘Jacob And The Sea Beast’ From ‘Moana’ Co-Director Moving Ahead At Netflix | Film News


Netflix has made another impressive addition to its ranks of creative minds by securing the rights to produce Jacob And The Sea Beast, the next project from Moana and Big Hero 6 co-director Chris Williams. The film will be an animated feature with an aim at bringing in the kinds of younger audiences Williams aimed for similarly when he was at Disney. This will be his first solo directorial effort.


Williams has also penned the screenplay, which revolves around “a charming seafarer who sails into uncharted waters and discovers an unlikely ally in a sea monster”. The project is partly inspired by the fantastical beasts that adorned 16th and 17th century nautical maps, whose presence alluded to undiscovered countries that lay beyond the borders of the known world.


Williams said in a statement: Jacob and the Sea Beast is the kind of story I’ve always wanted to take on. It’s a tale of high adventure where our hero leaves the known world and ventures out into uncharted waters. As it turns out, I’m doing the same thing”. He went on to speak warmly of Disney before adding that he was excited about his new creative home:


“I feel a great energy at Netflix, as amazingly talented artists from a wide variety of backgrounds are coming together to build something new”.


Netflix has been investing heavily pretty much everywhere, but that’s been especially true in the funds they’ve put towards original animated programming in recent months. The streaming giant recently revealed that it is backing Guillermo Del Toro‘s stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio, and is also producing Over The Moon, an animated fantasy film from The Little Mermaid director, Glen Keane.


Many of these moves have been made since Melissa Cobb, a former DreamWorks animation executive, was hired in 2017 to oversee Netflix’s kids and family team. Adding a Oscar winner like Williams to their impressive slew of creators is just a smart business move. Cobb said of the hire in a statement of her own:


“Chris is one of the most talented filmmakers working in animation today and his distinct voice comes through in this touching tale of ancient hunters who struggle to capture a beautiful, mythical sea creature on the high seas. His is precisely the kind of grand, adventure-filled story with smart and nuanced characters that we look for in family animated projects at Netflix”.


The company will have to wait a while until they can see the results of the project, as Jacob And The Sea Beast is not expected to arrive on the platform until 2022. But by then the Netflix app may have become sentient and destroyed all of their competition anyway. In the off chance that has not happened, hitching their wagon to an animation pro like Williams is a pretty good plan B.



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