Heading into the European Film Market in Berlin (Feb. 16-22), GFM Animation has announced it will partner with Gringo Films GmbH, Fabrique d’Images and Wild Bunch on Stitch Head, a new animated family feature based on the book by Guy Bass. The adaptation is written and directed by Steve Hudson (True North), and co-directed by Toby Genkel (The Amazing Maurice).
“We are always looking for top tier independent properties that have franchise potential,” said GFM Animation’s Chairman, Guy Collins. “When we were approached by Wild Bunch, Germany, and Gringo Films, we were immediately drawn in by the quality of the storytelling and early visuals and could clearly see the film’s potential. It is exciting to board the film at this point with CG animation starting shortly and look forward to sharing this raucous twist on the Frankenstein story with distributors at the EFM.”
Based on the first book in award-winning author Bass’s popular children’s series, the film tells the story of Stitch Head, a small, modest-looking creature awoken to Almost-Life™ by a mad professor in a castle high above the little town of Grubbers Nubbin. Having finished one creation, the professor promptly moves on to the next, so it’s up to Stitch Head to take care of all the monsters and, most of all, keep them safe: act too monstrous, and the townsfolk below will form an angry mob and burn down the castle.
For good reason, Stitch Head and his fellow-monsters are as terrified of humans as the townsfolk are of the things they suspect dwell in the castle. But then, one day, a travelling freak show comes to town, led by its desperate owner Fulbert Freakfinder. The show is on its last legs and frankly, not frightening at all. When Freakfinder meets the humble Stitch Head, he knows at last he has found a star who will turn his fortunes around completely.
The film’s voice cast is led by Asa Butterfield (Sex Education) as Stitch Head, Joel Fry (Cruella) voicing Stitch Head’s freshly-created best friend, Creature, and Tia Bannon (Midnight Sky) who voices Arabella, a fearless young girl and the monster’s greatest ally. They are joined by Rob Brydon (The Amazing Maurice), Alison Steadman (Life Is Sweet), Fern Brady and Jamali Maddix.
Sonja Ewers produces for Gringo Films, Mark Mertens for Fabrique d’Images. Marc Gabizon and Michael Luda co-produce with Fabrique d’Images, Traumhaus Studios and Senator Film acting as co-production companies. Development and pre-production has been undertaken at Fabrique d’Images, Lava Labs and Pixomondo. Nick Urata (Academy Award winner for Little Miss Sunshine) will compose the film’s score.
“A castle full of monsters all terrified of humans is a great starting point for a comedy — and for a film that empowers kids to face down fears,” said Ewers. “In the end, laughter is stronger, and we’re delighted GFM Animation will be bringing Stitch Head to audiences around the world.”
GFM Animation’s current slate also includes Enzo d’Alo’s A Greyhound of a Girl, screening in competition at the Berlinale; 10 Lives, featuring the voices of Mo Gilligan, Simone Ashley, Sophie Okonedo, Zayne Malik, Bill Nighy, Jeremy Swift and Dylan Lewellyn, directed by Chris Jenkins; and Sneaks, starring Laurence Fishburne, Martin Lawrence, Anthony Mackie, Roddy Ricch, Ella Mai, Macy Gray, Swae Lee and Chris Paul.