Starz Animation, Toronto, is currently in production on Miramax Films‘ animation project, Gnomeo And Juliet. It is to be directed by Kelly Asbury, who began his career at DreamWorks SKG in 1995. The Shrek 2 director is also known for being a storybook artist, art director and designer whose talents have been utilised in animated flicks including Chicken Run, The Prince of Egypt, Toy Story and The Little Mermaid. In addition, Kelly has also penned and illustrated several children’s books.
Gnomeo And Juliet will showcase music and lyrics by Elton (who is also one of the producers) and Bernie Taupin. It will be released within the next couple of years.
Described as a loose and edgy adaptation of the Shakespeare play, Gnomeo And Juliet will star James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. Kate Winslet was originally cast as the Juliet character, but was forced to decline, due to scheduling conflicts.
The project was brought to Walt Disney Feature Animation originally, but was dropped several years later by incoming Pixar executives.
Miramax President Daniel Batsek, who had been following the proceedings, persuaded Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook to revive ”Gnomeo” in April 2006.