Alessandro Carloni To Co-Direct ‘Kung Fu Panda 3′ With Jennifer Yuh

Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh. (Yuh photo:  Tinseltown/

Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh. (Yuh photo: Tinseltown/

When Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2011, she became the first woman to solo-direct a $100 million-plus animated feature. She won’t repeat that feat on Kung Fu Panda 3, according to a report earlier this week on Deadline.

Yuh had originally been slated to be KFP3′s sole director, but with a little more than a year before the film’s release, she’ll be joined in the director’s chair by Alessandro Carloni, who will co-direct the film with her.

Yuh personally requested Carloni to come aboard as co-director, unidentified sources told Deadline, because she feared that she could not complete the film on time herself. With DreamWorks’s recent struggles at the box office, the studio can ill afford for Kung Fu Panda 3 to be anything but a hit, and adding a second director might also be a form of creative insurance for the underperforming studio.

KFP3′s release date was recently pushed back from December 23, 2015 to March 18, 2016, presumably to avoid the December 18 release of Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The move to 2016 leaves DreamWorks with just a single release this year—Home—which is due out next month.

The Italy-born Carloni is a 13-year DreamWorks veteran who served as head of story on the first two films in the How to Train Your Dragon series, and supervised the animation of the original Kung Fu Panda. It will be his first feature directing credit.

  • Ju-osh M.

    Me and My Shadow — DW’s CG and hand-drawn amalgam — was once intended as the feature film directing debut of Alessandro Carloni. Does this news help or hinder that project’s resurrection?

  • Tres Swygert

    It’s definitely all hands on deck over at DreamWorks, with all the recent situations and challenges that has come to the studio. I do wish Jennifer and Alessandro much luck in the production of Kung Fu Panda 3.

  • Adzl33t

    That could be cool, though to me it feels like the Kung Fu Panda and HTTYD crews are so different and not even part of Dreamworks now, especially with Home

  • Michael Daedalus Kenny

    Jennifer’s sketches stayed pinned to the walls at Long Beach State years after she’d left. Nobody would touch them, like they were holy.

  • Tim

    These two are clearly Team Blue & Black.

  • Paul M

    Jennifer Yuh did a terrific job with KFP2, which was better than the first one in my opinion. I was hoping #3 would feature Po’s take on Bagua the way #2 did with Tai Chi. If Dreamworks is smart they will give her anything she needs to ensure the picture is done right, including extra time.

  • Td

    Both are extremely talented! I do wonder though if this was Their decision or the executives Making sure the film has every possibility of being financially successful.This studio cannot take another loss on one of its films.

  • Anonymous

    Actually they should have added a second director to “Rise of the Guardians.”

  • Tobias

    I certainly wish Jennifer and Alessandro the best, especially with how topsy-turvy Dreamworks has been lately. (I unfortunately don’t see that settling down anytime soon, especially since I don’t know anyone who is even remotely excited about Home.)
    Also, while I can fully understand DW’s moving the release date to avoid the new Star Wars…however I wonder if they’ll stick with the March 18th release date considering Disney’s Zootopia opens March 4th. It’s one thing to avoid a giant IP, but now they’re going up against direct competition in every way possible.