Unified Pictures has hired Ku Fu Panda director John Stevenson to make its first CGI feature.

Noah’s Ark is in pre-production and earmarked for completion in 2016. Stevenson will direct from a script by Philip LaZebnik, whose credits include The Prince Of Egypt, Mulan and Pocahontas, and Glen Dolman.

The story will tell the Biblical tale from the point of view of the animals and centres on an outcast aardvark who becomes the reluctant leader of a motley crew of imperilled misfits.

Executive producers are Cecil Kramer and Stevenson are overseeing production with Unified Pictures’ Kurt Rauer and president Keith Kjarval.

“John Stevenson is among the finest storytellers and animation filmmakers in the business and brings with him a wealth of experience, said Kjarval.

“His unique ability to personalise this global story with tremendous heart and humour is sure to make this an inspiring film for all ages.”

Stevenson added: “As soon as Kurt and Keith approached me with the idea of taking the classic tale of Noah’s Ark and telling a more personal story within the story, I jumped at the chance.

“It’s so exciting to work with everyone at Unified Pictures and we’re fortunate to have assembled such a stellar group of artists to help make the film.”