Buscemi, Cleese, Leno Join Exodus to Igor

Steve Buscemi, John Cleese and Jay Leno have joined Christian Slater in the cast of Exodus Film Group’s CG-animated short film, Igor: Unholy Frijoles. The flick is currently in production and will serve as a forerunner to a feature-length version titled Igor, scheduled to hit theaters in 2007.

Described by Exodus as an irreverent animated comedy with a new twist on the classic mad scientist/monster genre, Igor tells the story of a mad scientist’s hunchbacked lab assistant who has big dreams of winning the coveted first place award at the annual Evil Science Fair and becoming a mad scientist in his own right.

Buscemi will voice the role of Scamper, a super-intelligent, yet sarcastic lab rabbit who is brought back to life by Igor after an unfortunate run-in with a fast-moving carriage. Meanwhile, Cleese will lend his voice to Dr. Glickenstein, Igor’s evil and condescending master. Though he’s known for his prominent chin, Leno will be all gray matter as Brian the Brain.

Written by Chris McKenna, the Igor short and feature are being directed by Emmy winner Fil Barlow and exec produced by seasoned animation exec Max Howard, who has collaborated on such animated blockbusters as Disney’s Lion King and Aladdin, and Warner Bros.’ Space Jam and The Iron Giant. The film’s budgets will come from Exodus’ $50 million film fund, which will also serve production on the CG movies The Hero of Color City and Amarillo Armadillo. Animation for Igor is being handled by ElectroAge.