DreamWorks Taps Scribe for Monkey Business

Whatever may be happening with DreamWorks’ reported plans to spin off its animation unit, the studio is still plugging away at developing new animated features. Daily Variety reports today that Undercover Brother creator John Ridley is being paid seven-figures to write his first animated feature for the producers of Shrek, Antz and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.

The new film’s working title is The Unprofessionals and will center on three hapless monkeys sent on a quest that they are expected to fail. Mike LaChance, Chris Cuzer and Jeffrey Katzenberg will produce for DreamWorks.

Ridley’s web toon Undercover Brother, which is featured on Urban Media’s www.urbanentertainment.com, was acquired by Imagine Ent. and became a live-action, big-screen hit for Universal in 2002. The scribe has also penned the live-action features Three Kings and Cold Around the Heart and is the author of noir novels such as The Drift, Everybody Smokes in Hell and Those Who Walk in Darkness, which Urban Media and Wea Corp. turned into an animated graphic novel starring Lil’ Kim for home video distribution.