With all the press gathered at the Cannes Festival, French animation studio Sparx is making more noise about completing director Doug Chiang’s $50 million sci-fi feature Robota. Set in a futuristic world controlled by machines, the project will incorporate regular 3-D animation and rotomotion techniques.
According to Sparx president Guillaume Hellouin, the company hopes to move Robota into the production phase in the beginning of 2005. “What we want to do now is to raise the development money and finish the script,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. The f/x studio is in discussion with two major French production companies who may come on board with funding. Hellouin also added that although several Hollywood studios had shown an interest, he and Chiang will try and raise around 40% of the budget in Europe before signing a U.S. deal in order to retain as much creative control as possible.
Chiang’s previous credits include Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Mask and the two most recent Star Wars films. He is currently working on The Polar Express by Robert Zemeckis. Sparx employs over 250 people in France and Vietnam, where much of its animation work is done. You can look at some of the images from the upcoming film at www.dchiang.com.