Back in November, ON Animation Studios revealed that they are developing a new animated movie based on the popular Playmobil toys. We haven't heard anything about the project since then, but today, Variety has a new report that reveals the project is currently in production, under the new title Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels. Cross Creek Pictures has acquired domestic distribution rights, with the studio planning a late 2018 release.
Bob Persichetti, who served as head of story on Monsters Vs. Aliens, Shrek 2, Puss in Boots and the upcoming animated reboot The Little Prince, will write and direct Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels. No voice cast members have been announced at this time, but the $75 million Playmobil movie was recently introduced to buyers at the Toronto Internnational Film Festival. The project has already locked in pre-sales in numerous international markets, such as France, Germany, Latin America, Benelux, Switzerland and the Middle East. Here's what ON Animation Studios' Dimitri Rassam had to say in a statement.
"Following The Little Prince, we're proud to bring a new cultural icon to the screen. These figurines have sparked the imagination and creativity of generations of kids worldwide. We are very excited to work with Bob on creating a great adventure in the world of Playmobil."
No story details were given, but Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels is said to be the first in a movie trilogy. The 40-year-old Playmobil brand has sold over 2.8 billion figurines in more than 100 countries, making it one of the most successful toy brands in the world. Here's what producer Moritz Borman had to say in his statement about Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels.
"Playmobil has conquered children's hearts worldwide, growing beyond cultural and language barriers. Animation is the perfect medium to pay tribute to this cult toy and we're very excited to launch this franchise."
Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels comes on the heels of Warner Bros.' success with The Lego Movie, which earned $468.7 million worldwide from a $75 million production budget. Like Legos, the Playmobil brand has a devoted fan base that could turn this movie into another animated blockbuster. Warner Bros. has already set a May 28, 2018 release date for The Lego Movie Sequel, so we'll have to see if Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels can compete with this sequel at the box office in 2018.