An all-star cast will provide voices for the main characters in Academy Award nominee Shane Acker's animated epic 9, which is currently in production for Focus Features. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement.
Elijah Wood (of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Focus' Academy Award-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will voice the title role of 9. Joining him are Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (of Focus' upcoming Reservation Road), actor/filmmaker Crispin Glover (whose films as actor include River's Edge), Academy Award winner Martin Landau (Ed Wood), two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Plummer (who returns to Broadway this spring, starring in Inherit the Wind), and John C. Reilly (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby).
Scripted by Pamela Pettler, 9 is being produced by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov, and Jim Lemley. Focus creative executive David Gerson is overseeing the project for president of production John Lyons. Focus is financing 9 and holds worldwide rights to the movie.
9 is a feature-length expansion of Mr. Acker's short film of the same name. The action-packed tale takes place in a world parallel to our own, in which the very legacy of humanity is threatened. A community of fully mobile rag dolls living a post-apocalyptic existence find one of their own, 9 (Mr. Wood), displaying leadership qualities that may help them to survive. The conflicted but resilient community includes 1 (Mr. Plummer), a domineering war veteran; 2 (Mr. Landau), an aged inventor; 5 (Mr. Reilly), a stalwart mechanic; 6 (Mr. Glover), a visionary and artist; and 7 (Ms. Connelly), a brave warrior.
Mr. Schamus said, "This exciting and thought-provoking story has already drawn a strong filmmaking team together to work with Shane in bringing his visionary fantasy world to life. These splendid actors will provide compelling characterizations to go with the visual brilliance."
Mr. Acker received dual Masters degrees from UCLA in Architecture and Animation. His 9 short won the Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards as well as "Best in Show" honors at the 2005 SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater. At the 2005 (San Diego) Comic-Con, Mr. Acker won Best Animated Film (for the 9 short) and a Special Judges' Choice Award. He was an Academy Award nominee last year, as the 9 short was up for Best Animated Short Film.