Paramount Animation president Mireille Soria is bringing girl power to the unit — literally. The studio, which boasts a mostly female senior staff, is in early development on a Spice Girls movie among a slate eyeing two releases a year, starting in 2020.
All five members of the iconic ’90s group — Melanie Brown (Scary), Emma Bunton (Baby), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), Geri Halliwell (Ginger) and Victoria Beckham (Posh) are on board, with Simon Fuller producing and Karen McCullah and Kiwi Smith writing the screenplay. The animated feature will include Spice Girls classics as well as new songs. The Spice Girls “had an idea that we’ve been developing,” Soria tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They are very involved.”
Meanwhile, May 2020 release The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge has added Awkwafina and Reggie Watts to its voice cast, with Cyndi Lauper (and her co-writer Rob Hyman) working on original songs for the film. Described as a “love letter to SpongeBob’s beloved creator Stephen Hillenburg (who passed away last November), the fans, and the residents of Bikini Bottom,” the project is being directed by Tim Hill and produced by Ryan Harris with choreography by Mia Michaels.
The first 3D computer animated SpongeBob movie, it will also feature a score by Hans Zimmer and original song by Ali Dee. That will be followed in July 2020 by graphic novel adaptation Rumble, formerly titled Monster on a Hill, a Hamish Grieve-helmed partnership with ReelFX and Walden Media.
Soria also reveals that Paramount Animation has inked a first-look deal with the joint venture between Imagine Entertainment and Sydney-based animation studio Animal Logic (Happy Feet), which already has two movies in development, one of which Imagine’s Ron Howard plans to direct.