Paramount Animation Picks Up Mel Brooks-Inspired ‘Blazing Samurai’

The star-studded animated comedy feature Blazing Samurai has found a home with Paramount Animation, which has picked up rights from GFM Animation for North America and other territories. Directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, 1994) and veteran animator/story artist Mark Koetsier (Rumble, Illumination’s The Grinch, Pocahontas), the pic is slated for a U.S. release on July 22.

Reimagining the racial tensions of Mel Brooks classic Blazing Saddles, the family-friendly adventure follows Hank (voiced by Michael Cera), a loveable mutt with big dreams of becoming a Samurai. When he becomes the new sheriff of Kakamucho, he finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew: the town is inhabited solely by cats, and the local warlord (Ricky Gervais) who hired him is bent on destroying it for his own gain. Hank’s only shot is to bring the great samurai Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson) out of retirement as his mentor.

The voice cast also features George Takei, Michelle Yeoh, Djimon Hounsou, Kathy Shim, Kylie Kuioka, Gabriel Iglesias, Aasif Mandvi and 95-year-old comedy legend Brooks himself.

Blazing Samurai is presented by Aniventure and financer Align in association with HB Wink Animation and GFM Animation, animated by Cinesite Montreal in 3D CG. Minkoff and Koetsier direct from an original screenplay by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper, revised by Robert Ben Garant and Minkoff — who also produces alongside Adam Nagle and Guy Collins. Alex Schwartz, Adrian Politowski and Martin Metz exec produce.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]



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