Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson has agreed to direct the animated sequel Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes for Rocket Pictures.

We first reported on the sequel back in March, when Gnomeo and Juliet writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil signed on to write the screenplay. The story centers on Gnomeo and Juliet hiring the great detective Sherlock Gnomes, when several of the gnomes have gone missing. Gnomeo and Juliet stars James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are expected to return as the title characters, although no deals have been finalized yet.

As he did with Gnomeo and Juliet, Elton John will produce with his Rocket Pictures partner David Furnish, with Steve Hamilton Shaw executive producing. Elton John will also compose new music for the sequel.

Production is scheduled to begin early next year, although it isn't clear when they plan to release this animated follow-up.