Burton Picks up a 9

As his Corpse Bride gets set to hit theaters in September, director/producer Tim Burton plans to produce a feature based on Shane Acker’s award-winning animated film, 9, according to Daily Variety. Universal’s Focus Features will make its first foray into animation by backing and distributing the Burton production.

Acker will direct the feature-length version of his award-winning short, and Corpse Bride scribe Pamela Pettler will write the screenplay. In the short, rag dolls struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world as a fierce mechanical beast stalks them for their souls. The film was created with CG, but realistic textures and stylized animation give it a stop-motion quality, which no doubt helped to get Burton’s attention.

Burton told the trade that Acker’s short is among the most extraordinary 10 minutes of film he’s ever seen. Festival juries have apparently agreed since 9 won Best Animated Short at the San Diego Comic-Con Int’l and picked up a Student Academy Award. It will also be eligible to compete for an Oscar this year. SIGGRAPH attendees can check it out in the Electronic Theater early next month.

After stumbling with his re-imagining of Planet of the Apes, Burton appears to be on a roll again. His adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently the top-grossing film in America having earned close to $80 million since opening last weekend, and trailers for Corpse Bride have been well received by fans. Look for our cover story on Corpse Bride in the September issue of Animation Magazine, arriving soon to Barnes & Noble locations.