Good news, fans of Very British stop-motion animation where the characters have big beady eyes and very round mouths: The Hollywood Reporter says Netflix is throwing a bunch of money at beloved animation studio Aardman in exchange for a new Wallace & Gromit movie and a new sequel to 2000’s Chicken Run without some of the original cast (specifically you know who, but there are other changes that doesn’t exactly make it a big moral victory).
The new Chicken Run, titled Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget, has been in the works for a long time and will see Zachary Levi replacing Mel Gibson as poultry revolutionary Rocky, while Thandiwe Newton will be replacing Julia Sawalha as Ginger (a casting change that Sawalha considers “ageism,” saying in 2020 that she wasn’t even given a change to prove that she could still do the voice). Bella Ramsey, the unforgettable Lyanna Mormont on Game Of Thrones, will be playing Rocky and Ginger’s daughter, Molly.
Some of the supporting characters will be returning with the same actors, though, including Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, and Lynn Ferguson. They’ll be joined by Josie Sedgwick-Davies, David Bradley, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays, and Nick Mohammed. The sequel will take place shortly after the end of the first movie, in which Rocky led a rebellion at a chicken farm, and like all heist/prison break sequels, it will be about Rocky and his team breaking in to a prison… err, a farm.
As for Wallace & Gromit, this new film will be the first thing starring the characters—an inventor and his very smart dog—since the short A Matter Of Loaf And Death was released in 2008 (not counting the Shaun The Sheep spin-offs). It will be about Gromit getting concerned that Wallace is relying too heavily on his wacky inventions after a “smart gnome” starts to “develop a mind of its own.” No casting details for this one have been announced, but since Dawn Of The Nugget isn’t coming until next year and stop-motion animation takes a while, we might not hear anything else for some time.