It certainly looks like, at least somewhat of, a departure from their funny Ice Age-norm, but Blue Sky Studios' Epic looks just that: epic. Directed by Blue Sky co-founder and head-honcho, Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots), and based on the 1996 book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, by William Joyce, Epic looks set to wow - particularly in terms of visuals.
USA Today sat down with Wedge to discuss the film, it's cast and characters, and what we can expect from it next year. In addition to a few new details on the plot, we also get seven brand new, fully rendered (if admittedly low-res), images from the film!
Epic features the voices of Beyonce, Amanda Seyfried and Josh Hutcherson, as well as Christoph Waltz as the fantastically designed, and really quite scary, villain, Mandrake (above). Comic characters will still be making an appearance though, with The IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd voicing one such character.
Wedge said of Epic:
"This film is an evolution for us. In the technology, in what we put on screen and in the storytelling. It has the fun character comedy and depth of emotion that are found in the Ice Age films. But while Bill wrote a wonderful book, it is a quaint story. We wanted to make a gigantic action-adventure movie."
The director, rebuking claims that the teaser trailer made it look like a hybrid of A Bug's Life and Avatar, assured fans that "it has its own personality."
Blue Sky, now facing a friendly rivalry with DreamWorks Animation - whose films Fox will also distribute, starting next year - Epic hits cinemas on 24th May, 2013.