After heading up visual effects efforts for New Line Cinema’s blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy, three-time Oscar winner Jim Rygiel has signed on to make his directorial debut with Bunyan and Babe. Produced by Venice, Calif.-based Exodus Film Group, the live-action, updated take on the classic tall tale will feature a computer-animated Babe the Blue Ox, voiced by Actor Eddie Griffin (My Baby’s Daddy, Undercover Brother). Heather Graham is also in talks to join the cast of the independently financed film.
Bunyan and Babe offers an examination of modern society’s outlook on mythical heroes. The script has the oversized lumberjack of lore isolated from civilization in the forests of North America, learning to reconcile his personal differences and frustrations through his relationship with a troubled young boy, with whom he forms a lifelong friendship. According to Edodus Film Group, this script teaches valuable lessons about accepting and embracing differences while honoring our environment.
Producing Bunyan, along with Exodus head John D. Eraklis, is Tarquin Gotch, exec. producer of such films as Home Alone and Curly Sue.
Famed composer Basil Poledouris, (Les Miserables, The Jungle Book, Free Willy 1 and 2) is overseeing the music. All CG work is being handled by Tim Montijo, Kurt Rauer and their team at ElectroAge, Exodus’ in-house digital visual effects studio.