Pirates Helmer to Navigate First Animated Pic

Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski is getting ready to follow up his CG-laden phantom swashbucklers with a fully animated feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Oscar-winning producer Graham King (The Departed, The Aviator) is reported to be attached to Verbinski’s new animated venture, which is described only as an action-adventure yarn.

Projected for a 2010 release, the toon is based on a hush-hush original idea developed by Verbinski’s Blind Wink Prods. and producer John B. Carls (Open Season, Where the Wild Things Are), and will have an estimated budget of $100 million. Screenwriter John Logan (Sweeney Todd, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas) is in talks to write the film and its possible future sequels. Tim Headington is the exec producer, and David Shannon is co-producer and the film’s conceptual artist.

The director is now said to be putting together his team of designers, which will include Pirates trilogy veterans vfx expert Mark ‘Crash’ McCreery and head of story and storyboard artist James Ward Byrkit. It’s not known yet whether Verbinski and company will build their own animation unit or opt to go with an established animation house. Hard to believe, but the animated movie will only be the director’s eighth feature.