Bron Animation has acquired the animated film rights to Lois Lowry‘s popular children’s book “The Willoughbys,” it was announced Monday by the company’s president Brenda Gilbert.
Published in 2010, the story follows the four Willoughby children — Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their little sister, Jane — who are abandoned by their oblivious parents and must learn how to adapt their old-fashioned values to the contemporary world in order to create something new: The Modern Family.
“The Willoughbys” is being adapted for the big screen by Kris Pearn, and will be directed and co-written by Adam Wood. Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Luke Carroll will produce the film, which is currently in pre-production at Bron’s studio in Burnaby BC.
“‘The Willoughbys’ is a wonderful and unexpected story that fits our goal of producing animated films that are unique and a bit edgy,” said Brenda Gilbert. “We are very excited to bring the book to life for the big screen with such talented people as Kris and Adam, and hope it will become a popular classic.”
“The chance to bring this tale of finding the family you deserve instead of the de facto one you are given is both interesting, timely and a no-holds barred awesome adventure,” added Wood.
Pearn has worked on such animated features as “Open Season,” “Surf’s Up,” “Shawn the Sheep,” “Pirates: Band of Misfits,” “Arthur Christmas” and “Home,” to name a few. He was Head of Story on “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and co-directed “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” Pearn has also published numerous comics and children’s books such as “Edward the Tree Climbing Dog” and “Project Superhero” for ECW press.
Wood started his career over 20 years ago as an animator, working as an episodic director at Mainframe Entertainment, followed by six years at Pixar, where he animated such films as “Toy Story 2” and “Finding Nemo.” Since then, he has directed television and DVD projects, and was the Animation Director for the theatrical feature films “Space Chimps” and “Escape from Planet Earth.” Wood is currently the writer and director of Bron Animation’s feature film “Henchmen” as well as a creative VP at the studio.
Lowry is represented by Don Laventhall at Harold Ober Associates.