Seann William Scott is tovoice the lead in Space Chimps, the next animation title from Shrekproducer John Williams' Vanguard Animation.
The American Pie star will voice the part of Ham, the great grandsonof the first chimpanzee to go into space. Happy in his luxury NASA cage, thehapless Ham has to learn how to be a hero after he is drafted onto a spacemission as a PR exercise.
The CGI production marks thenext film after Valiant and Happily N'Ever After in the relationship between Vanguard and internationalsales outfit Odyssey Entertainment.
Space Chimps is expected to start production this summer atLondon's Ealing Studios, where Vanguard has a long-term lease and produced the$40m Valiant. Chimps is likely to be ready for delivery summer2006 under Vanguard's traditional two-year production cycle.
"Where Valiant has aclever, grown up humour, Space Chimps is more out-and-out farce, morephysical humour," said Odyssey chief Ralph Kamp.
Valiant, the story of WW2 carrier pigeons voiced by the likesof Ewan McGregor, is set for a major release next Easter through Walt Disney inthe US and Entertainment in the UK. Out of the major markets, Odyssey only hasGermany, Italy and Japan to mop up on Valiant at Cannes. Entertainment,Spain's Aurum and Australia's Roadshow are amongst the buyers who have takenboth Valiant and Space Chimps.
Happily N'Ever After, meanwhile, is currently in production in Germany for deliverylate next year. The comedy twist on popular fairy tales features the voices ofFreddie Prinze Jr and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
New to Odyssey's Cannes slate are US horror Deaths Of Ian; Jim Henson Co's Puss 'N Boots; and Irish zombie flick Boy Eats Girl, with Samantha Mumba. Odyssey will be showingfootage from Valiant in Cannes, along with 10-12 minutes from ThePhantom Of The Opera, which is set for a Christmas release. Other Odysseytitles include The Libertine, with Johnny Depp.