The Curious Case of Benjamin Button special effects studio Drac Studios is developing the 3D live-action/CG hybrid movie Christmas Tails, which will feature a recently discovered recording of the late Orson Welles narrating a children's Christmas novel.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project will be directed by Todd Tucker and narrated by Welles, who died in 1985.
"It's a movie about how Santa's dog saves Christmas, but on one level, this a story about the discovery of Orson's lost tapes," Drac president Harvey Lowry said. "This is a substantial find. It's something that a filmmaker dreams of."
More than 25 years ago, author Robert X. Leed self-published a book titled "Christmas Tails," and in 1985 got his friend -- who happened to be the legendary Welles -- to narrate it, making five reel-to-reel recordings. The filmmaker passed away a few months later, and apart from Leed making the occasional copy of a reel to pass along with his book, the recordings stayed on a shelf in a closet of his Las Vegas home.
"We worked out a deal to option the book, and I got the recordings from him," Lowry said. The tapes were so old, he had to have them go through a chemical bath and baking process at Chemical Records so they could be digitized. He also verified their authenticity.
In Christmas Tails, Santa's reindeer fall ill, forcing him to consider canceling Christmas. Meanwhile, his dog gathers other canines in the North to help save the day. Matt Thompson wrote the screenplay based on Leed's book, and Tucker came on board as helmer.
Drac, using its expertise in animatronic movie animals, will create the dog heroes and create a fantastical North Pole with computer graphics.
No production date has been set.