3QU Media announced this week that it has begun production on its second feature, the animated comedy Gnome Alone, about an age-old war between Gnomes who protect the Earth and ravenous Troggs who consume everything in sight. In the middle of the battle is Chloe, a high school girl who teams up with the garden gnomes in her front yard to battle the Troggs.

Peter Lepeniotis, who directed the surprise hit The Nut Job in 2014, has signed on to direct Gnome Alone, which will be animated by Cinesite at its new Montreal, Canada studio. It is the second project in Cinesite’s four-film production deal with 3QU; the first film, Charming, is also currently in production.

Gnome Alone is written by Kyle Newman (Barely Lethal, Fanboys) and Micah Herman (Washed Up) with revisions by Rob Moreland and Zina Zaflow. Key voices are Becky G (Power Rangers, 2017) and Josh Peck (Grandfathered). Said Lepeniotis of the project: “Gnome Alone is an energetic action comedy for kids in the tradition of films like Monster Squad, Gremlins, and Ghostbusters with chills and fun scares and plenty of hilarious characters that’ll thrill the child in all of us.”

“Peter’s instinct as a director is always toward the relentlessly entertaining,” added Gnome Alone producer John Williams (the producer of Shrek and Shrek 2). “I am particularly excited to see what results when we add the incredible vocal talents of Becky and Josh to the action-packed thrill ride he has envisioned.”

When Williams and financier Henry F. Skelsey launched 3QU in 2014, they stated their goal was delivering “mainstream and commercially successful CG-animated family films” for the global marketplace at under $20 million per film. One way the studio keeps costs under control is by recruiting actors and musicians on their way up, like Becky G and Peck, who have followings among tweens and teenagers, but don’t command A-list Hollywood actor premiums. Similarly, the voice cast for 3QU’s Charming, a comedy about a good-looking prince who can’t stop proposing to the women in his kingdom, includes Demi Lovato, Wilmer Valderrama, Sia, G.E.M., Ashley Tisdale, Steve Aoki, John Cleese, Nia Vardalos, and Avril Lavigne.

Gnome Alone is slated for completion in spring 2017.

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