Netflix announced today a new Wallace & Gromit film, with Aardman Animation legend Nick Park heading up a new story for his beloved, fromage-adoring characters. The film will premiere exclusively on the streamer around the world, except for in the UK, where it’ll debut first on the BBC: a fitting move, given the public broadcaster has always been their native home (and, as anyone in England will know, has spun their old adventures in the Beeb‘s festive playlist come the season for the last couple of decades).
“Nick has always wanted – indeed needed – to continue the adventures of these two characters that he knows so uniquely well,” a press release from the platform states.
Park will direct the new story alongside Aardman’s Creative Director of Wallace & Gromit, Merlin Crossingham, with the much-admired animation writer Mark Burton – a portfolio of Madagascar, Early Man, and Paddington 3 is hardly a block of Wensleydale to sniff at – onboard to write. Writing and storyboarding have already kicked off on the film, which is yet to receive an official title, but is being prepared for a 2024 release.
Tech Radar recently reported that the stop-motion studio, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, is also working on an open-world video game. This follows the 2020 announcement of the partnership between Aardman and game publisher Bandai Namco, which raised eyebrows then – and, well, continues to do so now. Is it going to be based on an existing IP, like Wallace & Gromit? Are we going to be battling the Wrong Trousers?
A job listing states Aardman is looking to hire people to “help [them] build a mad, open-world and fill it with compelling stories … [which] pushes into new design space within the 3D action-adventure genre … [and focuses on] inventive mechanics and compelling characters imbued with the humor, love, and craftmanship you’d expect from Aardman“. Whatever – as long as we win some nice stilton at the end of it.
Here’s an early synopsis for the yet to be titled Wallace & Gromit movie:
“Gromit’s concern that Wallace has become overdependent on his inventions proves justified, when Wallace invents a “smart gnome” that seems to develop a mind of its own. As events spiral out of control, it falls to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces – or Wallace may never be able to invent again!”