As Wolfwalkers leads director Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) into his third Best Animated Feature Oscar race, the gears keep turning on his next intriguing indie project: The Inventor. As previously revealed, Moore will be directing hand-drawn 2D animated sequences for the Leonardo da Vinci pic, which will mesh with stop-motion puppetry sequences by Disney/Pixar veteran Jim Capobianco, the film’s overall writer/director/producer.
“Tomm and I have been looking to work together ever since The Secret of Kells and my short film Leonardo played together at film festivals,” Capobianco told Deadline. “It is only fitting to collaborate on The Inventor, a film that combines both puppet animation and 2D drawn animation, and will require an exceptional talent like Tomm. The grand vision being to make an animated film as if it were helmed by Leonardo da Vinci himself.”
The Inventor is in preproduction, aiming for a 2023 release. The project has already signed on a stellar voice cast, including Stephen Fry as da Vinci, Daisy Ridley as Princess Marguerite, Marion Cotillard and Matt Berry.
Synopsis: In 1516, rather than paint “pretty” pictures for the Pope, the insatiably curious Leonardo da Vinci is instead searching for the meaning of life itself. This deadly heresy forces Leo to flee Italy with his apprentices and arrive at the court of Francis I, where he proposes to create the “Ideal City”. A city designed to benefit people not control them. However, Leonardo finds his new radical ideas do not please the King’s Mother nor do his endeavors serve the king’s ambitions for power. It is only in the enterprising princess, Marguerite, that Leonardo sees hope for the future. It is with her help that he finds the answer to the ultimate question: “What is the meaning of it all?”
Capobianco’s credits include The Lion King, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Inside Out, Finding Dory and Mary Poppins Returns. He received an Oscar nomination for writing Ratatouille. With Capobianco and Moore, The Inventor‘s creative time includes director of photography Peter Sorg (Frankenweenie, Coraline) and composer Alex Mandel (Brave).
Robert Rippberger is producing alongside Capobianco. Executive producers are Oscar-winning Disney veteran Don Hahn, Ilan Urroz, Ellen Byrne, Vince McCarthy, Kat Alioshin, StéphanRoelants, Carmella Casinelli,Jeremy Walton, David Lyons, Ryan Clarkson, Eric Vonfeldt, Lorenz Evans, Steve Muench and Sita Saviolo. The Inventor is a co-production of French studio Folioscope (The Tower), Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions, Ireland’s Curiosity Studio and Leo & King in the U.S.
The Inventor‘s initial Kickstarter campaign doubled its $50,000 goal in just 30 days; the full production budget is pegged at $10 million. Mk2 Films in France is handling international sales. The Exchange, which previously handled ShadowMachine stop-motion feature Hell and Back, is on board for U.S. rights.
Follow the film’s progress at www.theinventorfilm.com.