While Cattywumpus, the new film from director Gore Verbinski, was originally set up at Netflix, word on the street is that the animated space epic is now being shopped around to other studios. This is not an uncommon occurrence in animated films, with it happening in the past in several films from Pixar and DreamWorks Animation like Soul and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. It’s currently not clear which studios Verbinski will be shopping his new project to or how deep into production the film had gotten. Cattywumpus will feature cats in outer space and is the second animated film helmed by Verbinski after 2012’s Oscar-winner Rango.
Netflix reportedly gave the go-ahead to Verbinski to shop the film around, and this is most likely due to the ever-changing rhythm of their animated division. When the popular streamer cut 150 jobs this past May, almost half of them were from the animation department. Netflix told Deadline about the issue, saying, “slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company.”
Netflix has unexpectedly become a prominent studio for quality animation. In the past few years, the streamer has put out the films The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Back to the Outback, The Sea Beast, and The House. Several of Netflix‘s animated films have received high praise and accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for The Mitchells vs. the Machines and a win for the short film If Anything Happens, I Love You. Netflix also produced the animated series Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, Battle Kitty, and the upcoming Bee and Puppycat. Upcoming animated films from Netflix consist of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Henry Selick‘s Wendell & Wild, Thelma the Unicorn, Nimona, Ultraman, I, Chihuahua, and My Father’s Dragon.
Verbinski is an accomplished director whose films have all together grossed an overall total of $3.76 billion. Early work from Verbinski includes the commercial successes Mouse Hunt, The Mexican, and The Ring, which all grossed over $100 million theatrically. Verbinski‘s most successful filmmaking endeavor may have been directing three Pirates of the Caribbean films, including The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, and At World’s End. Verbinski‘s last two films, The Lone Ranger and A Cure for Wellness, were both box office bombs, indicating that Cattywumpus was gearing up to be his return to form.