Briefly, some disheartening news for Aardman fans from mid-January that I just noticed now: Peter Lord, the director of the Oscar-nominated The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, said that the planned sequel is not happening.
I interviewed Pete back in June of last year and the Chicken Run director said that the team wanted to move forward with a follow-up, saying "We’ve got the story, all we need now is the backing." Sadly, it seems they don't have the backing from Sony (who've co-produced and financed Aardman's recent films); perhaps spurred on by the film's less than stellar (though not entirely bad) box office performance, as Lord tweeted the below reply to a curious fan in January:
@sirthomaswynne No Tom, the bugger is, there's not going to be a sequel - well not in the foreseeable future. Outrageous but true.
— Peter Lord (@PeteLordAardman) January 13, 2013
The Pirates! has had rather a sour lot since its release and strong critical reception a year ago this month (or April in the US), being snubbed by its own country at the BAFTAs and nominated for precious few other awards. In fact, Peter appeared on the Oscar nominations edition of the Kermode and Mayo 5 live podcast a few days prior to the above tweet, and commented that he had given up hope an Oscar nod, and wasn't even listening to the nominations when they were revealed! Nonetheless, it did bag Aardman another Oscar nomination - and a good few A113Animation Award nominations too, winning one.
|Team Aardman at last month's Academy Awards: Peter Lord (far left), Nick Park |
It's a shame we won't get to see a follow-up to such a fun, quirky film. Lord is currently not directing a film of his own, but rather lending a bit of a hand to fellow Chicken Run director, Nick Park, on his super-secret next project - which is not a Wallace and Gromit film.