Jake Gyllenhaal is continuing his foray into animated features.
With a plot mostly kept under wraps, “Strange World” follows the Clade family of explorers, who journey into an uncharted land where fantastical creatures await discovery. Co-directed by Academy Award-nominated “Raya and the Last Dragon” filmmakers Don Hall and writer Qui Nguyen, “Strange World” also stars Alan Tudyk; the rest of the cast has yet to be announced.
Gyllenhaal stars as Searcher Clade, the son of a famed explorer who states in the teaser that he is nothing like his parent; instead, he is just a farmer, but still finds himself on a mission to a land “past space and time.”
“Strange World” director Hall previously has said that the feature is a nod to “old issues of pulp” adventure stories. With a dash of beloved Pixar film “Up,” the teaser for “Strange World” blends vintage adventure tales with Dr. Seuss-like fantastical elements to craft a “journey beyond what is possible” full of “infinite mystery.”
Lead star Gyllenhaal voiced the 2021 Universal-Dreamworks film “Spirit Untamed” from his home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I think all you really have, as an actor, outside of technical skills, is your imagination, so that was one thing. I did find it interesting,” Gyllenhaal told The Scotsman of his animated film debut. “We had a camera that had to shoot us doing the action so the animators could mimic our facial expressions, so I had a difficult time holding that screen up and talking to it at the same time and it was so, so hot. I played the entire role on my knees, in basically a prayer position by a bed, with two pillows over both sides of my head and a very heavy blanket over them.”
As for his live-action projects ahead, Gyllenhaal has a handful of projects in the works, including two TV miniseries, prison revenge drama “The Son” and long-awaited adaptation of Gary Shteyngart’s “Lake Success.” Gyllenhaal is producing “Lake Success” through his production company Nine Stories and is rumored to be eyeing a directing role in addition to starring.
“Strange World” will premiere in theaters on November 23.