“I can’t talk about it, but they should be releasing details any day now,” director Garth Jennings recently said on the podcast of English comedian Adam Buxton. Jennings, known originally as part of the video team called Hammer and Tongs, and the filmmaker behind “Son of Rambow,” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” was discussing what is now called, “Sing,” his then untitled Illumination animated film that he’s been working on in Paris for several years.
Tonight, Universal and Illumination revealed more details. We’d already known the cast featured Matthew McConaughey, and John C. Reilly, and that voice cast is being filled out by quite a number of stars including Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton and musician Tori Kelly. The animated tooner will be a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us. Here’s the longform synopsis:
Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, “Sing” stars Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.
Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.
Evidently the movie will feature more than 85 hit songs, and we know from that podcast that Buxton will voice one of the characters as well. “Sing” is written and directed by Jennings and has now been dated for the holiday season on December 21, 2016.
Universal/Illumination will first release “The Secret Life of Pets” in the summer 2016, and the company recently dated three mystery pictures; one to land July 13, 2018, another on July 3, 2019 and the final picture on July 10, 2020. Considering the company is behind billion dollar hits like “Minions,” and the “Despicable Me” franchise, it’s probably a good bet one of those movies sequels are spin-offs are part of the longterm plan.