StudioCanal and Aardman have begun shooting the Shaun the Sheep movie, set to open in UK cinemas on March 20, 2015. We have your first look at the animated adventure, which finds Shaun and Bitzer attempting to rescue their farmer friend.
Richard Starzak, the director of the movie, has helmed the Shaun the Sheep TV series for the last five years. He had this to say in an official statement.
"We're really excited to have started shooting although we may have to start Bitzer's shots later once he's out of A&E having had his nose fixed!"
Mark Burton, co-writer of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, co-directs and has penned the script.
In the movie, Shaun's mischief inadvertently leads to the farmer being taken away from his farm. Shaun, Bitzer and the flock must brave the big city to rescue him. Shaun first appeared in Aardman's Oscar-winning short movie Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave.
Aardman Animations scored huge success in 2012 with The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Featuring the voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton and Jeremy Piven, the movie grossed $123 million against a budget of $55 million and was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
David Sproxton, Aardman's executive chairman and a producer on The Pirates! had this to say in a statement.
"Shaun and his friends have a massive global following and we are very excited about being able to put them into a bigger adventure for the big screen."
Olivier Courson, StudioCanal's CEO, released his own statement.
"Shaun is a character you love at first sight whatever your age. We are really happy to work with Aardman; it's such a talented team."