DreamWorks Animation Pulls Plug on Hugh Jackman’s ‘Larrikins’

Animated musical comedy, which had been slated for 2018 release, is latest DWA project canceled since last year’s acquisition by Universal

Last Updated: March 8, 2017 @ 6:12 PM

DreamWorks has cancelled the planned animated musical comedy “Larrikins,” according to a blog post from the project’s director, Tim Minchin.

Minchin, an Australian musician and stand-up comedian, said that “Larrikins” had been shut down on Friday, making it the second project shut down by the animation studio since it was purchased by NBCUniversal last April. Back in November, DreamWorks announced that they were canceling a planned sequel to the 2013 caveman comedy, “The Croods.”

“I’ve recently been working in 3 different continents, missing my kids a lot, sleeping too little and not playing piano enough,” Minchin wrote in his blog post. “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.”

“Larrikins” would have starred Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie and Naomi Watts in a comedy about a bilby — a marsupial native to the Australian Outback — who leaves his home under a rock to go on a road trip with a band. Minchin and Chris Miller (“Puss In Boots”) were attached to direct, with Minchin also writing songs for the film.

With this cancellation, DreamWorks Animation currently has no films on its slate for 2018. Their next release is the Alec Baldwin-fronted “Boss Baby,” due out March 31, followed by a film adaptation of “Captain Underpants” on June 2. After that, DreamWorks has nearly two years of empty slate until “How To Train Your Dragon 3” releases March 1, 2019.

With DWA now joining Illumination under NBCUniversal’s wing, it’s looks likely that the two studios will be integrated in Universal’s plans for animated releases going forward. Notably, Illumination has “Despicable Me 3” set for June 30 of this year, and “Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” planned for November, 2018.

Illustrator Peter de Seve confirmed on Twitter that he was the first designer hired to work on “Larrikins” and shared some early concept art he drew upon learning of the cancellation.