The UK's revived Handmade Films is partnering on financing, production and sales with Spain's Ilion Animation Studios for the $50m CGI animated feature Planet One.

Shrek and Shrek 2 writer Joe Stillman wrote the original screenplay for the project, which will be directed by Jorge Blanco, who created the game series Commandos. The story is set on an alien planet, where a young astronomer encounters an American astronaut.

Producers are Ilion's Ignacio Perez Dolset, HandMade's Guy Collins and Michael Ryan, former Nickelodeon president Albie Hecht and Lola Films' Andres Vicente Gomez.

Production will start in May 2007 with a release planned for Christmas 2008 or Easter 2009.

Ilion and its sister game company Pyro Studios and mobile company LaNetro Zed are already developing a game version of the film and special mobile promotions.

'This co-production with Ilion demonstrates an exciting move into the field of animation for Handmade,' said Handmade Films International's Guy Collins. 'The production & creative team assembled by Ilion is as experienced, dynamic and cutting edge as anything you'd find at the major Hollywood Studios and we believe they are set to be a major producer of CGI animation films, mirroring the success they have enjoyed in their other businesses.'

Ilion's Dolset added: 'After four years working on this project, we have built a full studio with very talented people and cutting-edge technology that enables the production of an amazing visual experience. This together with the great story that Joe Stillman has written for us and Handmade's experience in the film market will result in Planet One becoming a big success worldwide.'