After the studio's 2005 restructuring that would see it reducing its core game development staff in lieu of a stronger focus on creative development, officials from developer Oddworld Inhabitants have announced the company’s first CGI movie feature, as well as plans for its accompanying video game.
As announced in his keynote at the GameCity event in Nottingham, England, Oddworld Inhabitants co-founder Lorne Lanning will direct the forthcoming feature, Citizen Siege, with fellow co-founder Sherry McKenna acting as executive producer. The property, described as a "politically edgy sci-fi action thriller," will be produced in conjunction with Vanguard Animation, with John Williams, who optioned, developed and produced Shrek at Dreamworks, acting as the film's producer.
The video game version of Citizen Siege, according to Lanning, will be simultaneously developed alongside the movie, reportedly utilizing the same collection of art assets. As yet, strict plans for development and a publishing agreement for the game have not been finalized, pending the launch of film production, but it is clear that Oddworld will retail full rights to the IP.
Said Oddworld's Sherry McKenna, "We're thrilled to be in partnership with John Williams and the wonderful folks at Vanguard to birth our latest universe. Their expertise, experience, and passionate vision for where the animated film market is headed enables Citizen Siege the support necessary to deliver the next generation of animated experience that mature audiences are ready for. "
Williams added, "Abe's Odyssey was a genre busting original game and was the first one I fell in love with. Citizen Siege promises to be an action thriller that, like other great science fiction stories, also has incredible poignancy to the universal issues of our time. Lorne and Sherry are highly revered as founding masters of CG animation and we think Citizen Siege is perfectly suited to be a break out action adventure."
Gamasutra correspondent Jon Jordan also attended Gamecity and will be providing impressions of the event, including Lanning's talk, in his 'Euro Vision' column later this week.