Netflix and Paris-based Gaumont will produce an animated feature based on Paul McCartney’s 2005 children’s novel High in the Clouds, which was co-written by Philip Ardagh and illustrated by Geoff Dunbar.

The film will be directed by Timothy Reckart, who was nominated for an animated short Oscar in 2013 for his student film Head over Heels and made his feature directing debut with Sony Picture Animation’s The Star. Script is by Jon Croker, who contributed story material to Paddington and Paddington 2.

The logline: An imaginative teenage squirrel named Wirral finds himself pulled into a ramshackle gang of teenage rebels who live high in the clouds after he accidentally antagonizes Gretsch the owl, the tyrannical leader (and fabulous singer!), who steals the voice of anyone who upstages her.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix,” said Paul McCartney, who will also contribute original songs and music for the film. “They complement what is already an amazing team with Gaumont and we can think of no-one better to be working with to bring our film to a global audience. I’ve always loved animated films and this is a hugely important passion project for me.”

Adds Gregg Taylor, Netflix’s director of original animated films, “Bringing the world a new animated film from the heart and mind of the brilliant Paul McCartney is undoubtedly one of the greatest thrills we’ve experienced at Netflix. We’re beyond grateful to be partnering with Nicolas [Atlan, president Gaumont Animation and Family] and the Gaumont team on High in the Clouds and with Tim at the helm, this whimsical story celebrating individuality and the unifying power of music is in great hands.”

High in the Clouds has been in and out feature animation development for nearly a decade. An announcement for the film was made in 2013 at which time Tony Bancroft was attached as director.

Producers on the film are Bob Shaye, the late Michael Lynne, Paul McCartney, Sidonie Dumas, Christophe Riandee, Nicolas Atlan, and Terry Kalagian for Gaumont.

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