Terry Pratchett’s "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents," a twist on the Pied Piper of Hamelin, will be the first of the late author’s books to be adapted as an animated movie.
The Discworld novel has been optioned by Germany-based Ulysses Filmproduktion with German director Toby Genkel ("A Stork's Journey) attached to direct.
Terry Rossio (whose credits include "Shrek,” the 1992 "Aladdin," and "Pirates of the Caribbean") has written the screenplay. Carter Goodrich, who worked on "Ratatouille" and "Brave," will do the character design.
Pratchett’s 2001 book follows Maurice, a streetwise cat whom teams up with a boy who plays a pipe and has his very own horde of clever rats: Together, they scam towns by staging infestations and being paid to get the rats to leave.
"Terry Rossio’s screenplay twists and turns and produces an unexpected yet heartwarming ending, with Carter Goodrich’s designs bringing these characters to life in their own unique style, which I’m sure audiences will love,” Cantilever Media CEO Andrew Baker told Variety. The script and tone of the film will be "very Terry Pratchett, very true to his vision," but differ from the characters seen on the book jacket, he added.
Rob Wilkins, who manages Pratchett's properties and will executive produce the movie, said that the author, who died in 2015, "would be delighted with the character designs." He added, "Bringing this story to life was so important to Terry, and it upsets me that he won’t get to see the finished film, but the teams at Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media are honoring his vision and I am absolutely delighted."
Once all the financing is in place, the plan is for movie to be released in early 2022.