27 October 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




Animation News

Wolfwalkers' Will Collins to write new animated feature; Peter Dinklage to produce
10 Feb 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Writer Will Collins
Irish writer Will Collins (Song of the Sea; Wolfwalkers) is to script a new animated feature called This Was Our Pact, based on a graphic novel of the same name.

Adapted from Ryan Andrews graphic novel and described as “a magical family adventure,” the story follows a group of kids on the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when their town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars. 

Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go and make a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back. The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it’s not long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben's disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn't seem to fit in. Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship. And a talking bear.

Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage is producing, as well as voicing the “mysterious and charismatic” bear. Dinklage, who previously voiced roles in The Croods, The Angry Birds, and Ice Age franchises, is set to produce the animated feature with he and David Ginsberg’s production company, Estuary Films.

This Was Our Pact is a collaboration between Estuary Films and veteran animator Ken Duncan’s Duncan Studio team, with additional development financing and support from Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana. Rob Hollocks, Josh Feldman, and Estuary’s Brad Saunders also serve as producers. Duncan’s credits include animation work on Disney’s Aladdin, Tarzan and Hercules, as well as titles such as Shark Tale, The Nut Job, and 9. 

The project marks the fourth feature script for Collins. The Corkman has a host of impressive screen-writing credits to his name, particularly in the world of animation. In 2010, Collins’ first feature screenplay, My Brothers was brought to screen by Treasure Entertainment producers Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole, after he won the Galway Film Fleadh Pitching Competition. The film earned Collins an IFTA nomination for Best Script in 2011.

Since then, Collins has had major success in writing for animation, primarily for the Oscar-nominated feature Song of the Sea from Cartoon Saloon Collins developed the script alongside Cartoon Saloon co-founder, Tomm Moore.

In March 2019, Collins was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for his writing on Angela’s Christmas. The half-hour CG film is based on Frank McCourt’s only children’s book inspired by a story his mother Angela told him as a child. 

Most recently he wrote Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers, directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. The film, which was acquired by Apple TV+ has earned rave reviews, won a number of Critics’ Circle Awards in the USA and has been nominated for Best Motion Picture – Animated for this year’s Golden Globe Awards. When the Academy announces the Oscars shortlist in March it would be a major shock if Cartoon Saloon don’t earn their fourth Best Animated Feature nomination.

Penned by Ryan Andrews, the graphic novel is itself an Eisner Award nominee (The Oscars of Comic Books and Graphic Novels), and was named 2019 Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews

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