Nosferatu Gets Toon Update

While the majority of computer animation work is being dedicated to creating loveable animal characters, the medium seems to be lending itself to the horror genre lately as well. One CG chiller/comedy in the works is a feature adaptation of Philippe Druillet’s cult graphic novel, Nosferatu, published by Editions Albin Michel in France and Dark Horse Comics in the U.S. Alexandre Brillant of Wolfland Pictures and European animation veteran Christopher Panzner are co-producing the pic.

Described as a personal interpretation of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film masterpiece of the same name, the animated Nosferatu tells the story of an amnesic vampire who awakens the day after the Apocalypse only to discover that he is the only one who can save the planet. The surviving humans have created an idyllic underground society and have created an army of vicious robots to patrol the surface, searching out and destroying anything that doesn’t fit the new ideal. To take on these metal monsters, Nosferatu teams up with a cyborg-girl, smart-aleck human kid and a ragtag band of mummies, zombies, werewolves and other misfits.

Budgeted at roughly $10 million, Nosferatu will be directed by Druillet, who created Heavy Metal magazine and the graphic novels Salammbô and The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane. He also spearheaded the French CG series Xcalibur. Druillet shares co-writing duties on Nosferatu with Fabrice Ziolkowski (Brendan and the Secret of Kells, The Mysteries of Providence, The Bellflowers Billy the Cat, Jules Verne — Amazing Journeys).

Despite its horror origins, Nosferatu will apparently be more PG, falling somewhere between Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Disney/Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. in tone. A teaser can be downloaded at http://werewolf71.club.fr/nosferatu/teaser/index.html.

A former journalist for Premiere magazine, Brillant created Wolfland Pictures in 2001. The company co-produced with Carrere Group Arzak Rhapsody, the first animated series written, designed and directed by respected fantasy artist Jean Mœbius Giraud. Wolfland is developing Nyxies: Children of the Night, a CG series conceived and directed by Michael Brown, one of the creators of the video game Myst III: Exile.

A frequent contributor to Animation Magazine, Panzner has been involved in a number of animated features, including Academy Award nominee The Triplets of Belleville and Belleville director Sylvain Chomet’s acclaimed short film, The Dog, the General and the Pigeons. Other credits include The Jester Till, Black Mor’s Island and Charlie and Mimmo.