It’s been a decade since Gore Verbinski directed Rango, one of the best animated features of the last 20 years, which we observed recently in a tribute piece for Rango’s 10th anniversary. And now, it seems to be time to get the band back together, as Verbinski recently let slip to Collider that he’s in the early stages of working on not one but two animated feature film concepts, which would reunite him with Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, who worked on Rango. There’s very little detail as to what kinds of films these would be, aside from Verbinski promising that at least one of them would actually be a musical.
“I’m working on two animated movies that I can’t really talk about,” Verbinski said to Collider. “I’m working on two screenplays … they’re both animated movies. They’re not Westerns. One is a musical. These are so many years out. They take so long that I just … I mean, it’s way too early to talk about them.”
Talk about throwing water on the fire, but we’re enthusiastic anyway. We can’t help but wonder if this is also related to news that was reported last year, suggesting that Verbinski was working on an animated film for Netflix. His most recent directorial credit is still 2016’s A Cure For Wellness, but his name has been attached to many projects since, including a long-gestating sci-fi movie called Spaceless, about an astronaut drifting helplessly through space.
As for the participation of Roger Deakins, Verbinski told Collider that it was a priority to get him committed, regardless of when these films will actually get made.
“He was like my first call on these two animated movies I’m making now,” Verbinski said. “I was like, ‘Roger, are you in?’ So one of them I’ve pitched him in detail, so he’s going to be coming back and helping us out … really in the shot production of it. He’s busy. He’s very busy.”
Deakins has every reason to be busy, as he is currently enjoying the height of success, reaping the rewards of a long career full of classic movies such as The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo and Skyfall. He’s won two Academy Awards in recent years, first for Blade Runner 2049 and then for 1917.
We’ll bring you more information on these Verbinski projects as it arrives.