“Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure” will feature Cirque du Soleil talent and premiere in London next year
Fox is warming up its "Ice Age" franchise for a live show designed by Cirque du Soleil talent, the studio announced Thursday.
"Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure" will be launched by Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Stage Entertainment Touring Productions at London's Wembley Arena in November 2012.
After that, it will go on a five-year, 30-country tour, starting in Europe and eventually hitting the U.S. at a yet-undetermined date.
"It's part of an overall strategy to evolve from the pop-culture experience that the movie is into a pop-culture immersion," Jeffrey Godsick, president of Fox Consumer Products, told TheWrap.
"We're trying to deepen the audience connection" with the franchise, Robert Marick, executive vice president of Fox Consumer Products, told TheWrap.
The production will feature ice-skating, aerial stunts and puppetry. The cast will include costumed versions of "Ice Age's" core characters — Manny, Sid, Diego, Ellie, Peaches, Crash, Eddie and Buck — but the show will have a storyline all its own.
While most of the specifics of the show are being kept under wraps, Marick promised "giant animals flying through the arena." Some characters, like Manny, could be as tall as 40 feet, with multiple humans working the costume.
The show will be directed by Guy Caron, who previously worked on Cirque du Soleil productions. Other Cirque veterans are also involved: Michael Curry is handling costume design, and Martin Lord Ferguson co-creating music and lyrics with Ella Louise Allaire.
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Ticket prices have not yet been established. A large-scale marketing campaign is in the works.
The franchise's fourth film installment, the 3D-animated "Ice Age: Continental Drift," is due in theaters July 13. Original voice stars Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Dennis Leary, John Leguizamo, Seann William Scott and Josh Peck will return. New cast members include Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lopez and Wanda Sykes.
The first three "Ice Age" films drew a combined $2 billion at the global box office, making it one of the top-grossing animated film franchises ever. And the property has amassed more than $4 billion once home-entertainment and consumer-products sales are factored in.