Vanguard Films’ President and CEO John Williams announced today that Oscar and Annie Award-nominee Mike Johnson, co-director of Corpse Bride, to direct its CG/stop-motion hybrid feature film, Oz Wars.
Oz Wars, written by Rob Moreland (Space Chimps 1 & 2, City of Dragons) and Athena Gam (Alien Rock Band), transforms the Oz narrative into a contemporary, freaky action-packed reinvention, with Dorothy caught up in a whirlwind of warrior witches, black magic, martial arts and monsters.
The announcement comes on the heels of an ambitious Vanguard production slate released at AFM which includes CG, live action and CG/live action hybrids. Vanguard recently announced an overall producing/directing deal with Kung Fu Panda co-director John Stevenson, who will direct Alien Rock Band, a live action/CGI hybrid, with musician Dave Stewart (from the Eurythmics) producing.
A veteran animator and director, Mike Johnson won the British Animation Award and earned Oscar and Annie Award nominations (with co-director Tim Burton) for The Corpse Bride. As an animator his credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and the Emmy Award-wining children’s series Bump in The Night. Johnson’s directing credits also include episodes of the Emmy Award-winning television series The PJs, and the award-winning short The Devil Went Down To Georgia, which he also produced.