After 18 years, those chickens are up to something (again). Aardman has announced plans for a sequel to their critically acclaimed film Chicken Run. Released in 2000, Chicken Run grossed $225 million (USD) worldwide, and picked up some BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations as well. It remains the most successful stop animation film of all time. Aardman have just released their latest film Early Man (you can see our review for it here), and were also responsible for bringing us the many adventures of Wallace and Gromit and the lesser known television miniseries Creature Comforts.
The original film followed a group of caged chickens who, with the help of a smooth-talking runaway circus performing rooster, attempt to escape the confines of their chicken farm and avoid ending up as a delicious chicken and plasticine pie.
The sequel will be directed by Sam Fell (ParaNorman, Flushed Away) and produced by Paul Kewley (Shaun the Sheep). The original screenwriters Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Ferrell are back this time round. It’s not been confirmed whether the original cast will return, which included Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha and Miranda Richardson.
The original must have ruffled a few feathers, because fans have been asking for a sequel for some time, with a petition being started last year to make it a reality. It’s good to see people are getting behind some really important deficits in our culture. Fans will still have a long time to wait, with stop-motion being a painstakingly slow process – it reportedly took a week to complete one minute of footage for the original film. Production will begin on the sequel after the studio finishes up with their Shaun the Sheep sequel which is coming out next year.
Historically, sequels to films that were originally fully rounded texts in themselves tend to not live up to the original’s hype (exception: Shrek 2, the peak of the Shrek-verse before an horrific downward slope that we are still suffering through in Puss-In-Boots spin-offs). I just hope they don’t repeat the eggs-act same plot of the original Chicken Run with a new generation of baby chickens, although that does sound adorable. Let’s hope it’s not a complete cock-up.