It’s official: Paul McCartney‘s children’s book, High in the Clouds, will become an animated film. Video streaming behemoth Netflix announced in a press release on Tuesday that they will partner with Gaumont and the former Beatle to produce an animated film based on McCartney’s 2005 picture book.
Co-written by Phillip Ardagh and illustrated by Geoff Dunbar, High in the Clouds tells the story of a squirrel who embarks on a journey to find Animalia, a remote island that offers protection from the human development going on in their home, Woodland. The Netflix adaptation will maintain these themes while making it their own. As the press release notes,
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.
Along with 18-time Grammy Award-winner Paul McCartney, Bob Shaye (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) will also be a part of the production team. In addition to producing, McCartney will write new original songs for the film.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix,” says McCartney. “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.”
Netflix Director of Original Animated Films Gregg Taylor shares the sentiment, adding that working on this project is “undoubtedly one of the greatest thrills [they’ve] experienced…”
The all-star production team is accompanied by Oscar-nominated director Timothy Reckart (Head Over Heels, The Star) and Jon Croker (Paddington), who will write the screenplay.
This is not the first animated film McCartney has created. In 1984, he, along with Geoff Dunbar, created an animated film called Rupert and the Frog. This was based on the comic strip character Rupert Bear and won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for “Best Animated Short.” Sir Paul has written other books as well, including Hey Grandude!, released in 2019.
A release date for Paul’s “hugely important passion project” High in the Clouds has not yet been announced. However, fans can get their McCartney-fix by following the transcendent star to the 2020 edition of Glastonbury Festival, where he will headline the Pyramid Stage.