Cleese to Script DreamWorks/Aardman Pic

One of the announcements to come out of Thursday’s DreamWorks/Aardman presentation at the Cannes Film Festival is that Monty Python alum John Cleese has been tapped to write the next feature for the two animation powerhouses.

Aardman co-founder Peter Lord thrilled the audience with news that Cleese is currently co-writing Crood Awakening, a pre-historic comedy that will be the fourth collaboration between DreamWorks and Aardman. Following their 2000 stop-motion hit, Chicken Run, the studios have been at work on the clay animated feature, Wallace and Gromit–The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Oct. 7, 2005) and the CG comedy Flushed Away (November 2006).

Set in the Stone Age, Crood Awakening is a comedy about a big man whose position as Leader of the Hunt in the small village of Crood is threatened by the arrival of a prehistoric genius who comes up with revolutionary new inventions such as fire.

According to BBC News, Lord commented at the event, “It will be a great comedy adventure about a pre-historic culture clash between two tribes, one comparatively evolved tribe, and one un-evolved tribe.” He also drew parallels between the English and the French in describing the two tribes. “Let’s just say it’s the start of the Entente Cordial and it explains why the English Channel is there.”

Co-writing the screenplay with Cleese is Kirk DeMicco, who previously wrote the family film Racing Stripes, which came out on home video this week, and the animated adventure Quest for Camelot.

The Cannes tribute to Aardman was part of DreamWorks’ big festival push for the Wallace and Gromit feature, of which several scenes were previewed for the audience.