20 years after the original hit theaters, Chicken Run 2 is finally happening. Aardman Animation is set to produce the sequel, which has been picked up for global distribution by Netflix. The streaming service will release the movie around the world, save for China. The creative team has also revealed the first plot details for the long-awaited sequel.
The announcement was made during the Annecy Making Of panel on the festival's digital platform. Sam Fell (ParaNorman, Flushed Away) is set to direct Chicken Run 2, which is expected to begin filming next year. Peter Lord and Nick Park directed the original. Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell are returning to pen the screenplay, with Rachel Tunnard joining them. Lord had this to say about it.
"We've discussed it so many times over the years and come up with various ideas but never quite found one we loved enough. But it was always in the back of our minds," he went on, explaining that every three to four years there would be a conversation at Aardman about how to do so. We've got the perfect story, and the relationship with Netflix is kind of perfect as well because they celebrate the filmmaker and are so filmmaker friendly. I feel now we can make the 'Chicken Run' sequel we want to, the one we really care about."
Chicken Run 2 will pick up with Ginger, who is living in a human-free chicken paradise. Ginger and Rocky have had a daughter together named Molly. She begins to grow up quickly and outgrows the island. Meanwhile, rumors begin to surface of a new threat that forces Ginger to rally her troops. They will have to risk their freedom for the good of chicken-kind. Sam Fell had this to say.
"I tell you it will be fun and games seeing these chickens back in action. All the gadgets, the kit, we're kind of moving towards an almost-tribute to Mission: Impossible with elements of heist and how they're going to pull off this amazing break-in."
Sam Fell also said that they have been working on the script for years. While casting details largely remain under wraps for the time being, it has been reported that Mel Gibson will not be reprising his role as Rocky for the sequel. Netflix had to close a deal with Studiocanal and Pathe to secure the rights for the movie. Studiocanal has backed Aardman's productions for the past five years, and Pathe was behind the first Chicken Run.
Released in 2000, Chicken Run became a massive hit, earning $224 million at the global box office against widespread critical acclaim. Two decades later, it remains the highest-grossing stop-motion animated movie ever released. Chicken Run 2 does not yet have a release date set. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety.