Danny McBride and up-and-coming Spire Studios are developing the animated feature Trouble, which aims to bring to life the three words kids fear the most: you’re in trouble. The project is in very early stages, but we do know that McBride co-created the original story for Trouble alongside Spire Studios co-founder Brad Lewis (producer of Ratatouille, but also co-director of Cars 2). Trouble will be executive produced by Spire’s P.J. Gunsagar along with Rough House Pictures‘ Brandon James and written by Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas.
The film centers on Jax, a 13-year-old who is constantly getting in trouble with his family, and one day finds himself in a parallel reality known as the “World of Trouble.” While in this bizarre and fantastic world of chaotic adolescence, he’ll have to figure out how to get back home, and hopefully, get out of trouble, as he learns the power of empathy and self-forgiveness.
“The idea of being in trouble is a universal fear we’ve all experienced growing up,” McBride said in a statement. “Being able to build out what that world could look like and exploring how we can make this an animated adventure with Brad and the team at Spire has been awesome.”
For his part, Lewis had this to say about working with McBride. “Danny has such a unique sensibility and grasp of wonderfully irreverent characters, creating a story together is a dream come true. I’m definitely looking forward to getting into Trouble together, and bringing to life the three words kids all over the world fear… you’re in trouble.”
This is only the second animated feature produced by Spire, which launched last year as a new creative voice in animation. Their first project, Century Goddess, was announced last October, and will follow a young woman who is also a once-in-a-century goddess who uses her power of song and spoken word to ignite a revolution against an artist-suppressing dictatorship.
Animation seems to be picking up steam in Hollywood, both because of how easy it’s been for animated projects to continue production during the pandemic, and because of the rise of competitors in a medium previously dominated by Disney in the US. In recent years, Netflix has produced a great number of animated projects and vowed to make more than Disney can even dream of. Add in Apple‘s newfound interest in animation with their partnership with the Peanuts brand, and their work with the Oscar-nominated Wolfwalkers, and the gates have opened wide for exciting new studios to release commercially and critically successful animated films that don’t have Cinderella’s Castle or Luxo the lamp in the opening title.
Currently, no casting or release date has been confirmed for Trouble, but we’ll report more as soon as that information becomes available.