Josh Cooley to Direct Live-Action ‘Little Monsters’ at Universal

“Toy Story 4” filmmaker’s movie is inspired by character designs by concept artist Crash McCreery

Josh Cooley Transformers Malamander
Getty Images

Josh Cooley, the director and writer of Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” will next direct an all-ages film called “Little Monsters” at Universal, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

“Little Monsters” will be a live-action and animation hybrid that will bring Universal’s classic monster movie characters to a new generation. The film will be inspired by the artwork, outlines and character designs of famed concept artist Mark “Crash” McCreery, who is best known for his work on films like the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy, “Rango” and “Van Helsing.”

Cooley is writing the script and will also direct. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films (“The Aeronauts,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Wonder”) will produce. McCreery will executive produce.

Plot details are being kept under wraps.

Universal has been committed to revitalizing its stable of classic monster movie characters, with the success of Blumhouse’s updated take on “The Invisible Man” from earlier this year, as well as plans for a new version of “The Wolfman” that will star Ryan Gosling.

Cooley is a veteran storyboard artist at Pixar who is credited on animated films such as “Cars,” “Ratatouille” and “Up.” “Toy Story 4” was his debut feature film after directing the shorts “George and A.J.” and “Riley’s First Date” based on the “Inside Out” character Riley Andersen. “Toy Story 4” surpassed $1 billion at the global box office last year.

Cooley is also attached to direct an animated “Transformers” prequel movie for Hasbro, eOne and Paramount, and a live-action feature called “Malamander” at Sony.

Cooley is represented by CAA as a director, Grandview and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

THR first reported the news.