Locksmith Animation has partnered with Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, Yesterday) for an animated feature for digital platforms based on a series of children’s Christmas books from the writer and director.
The project, which will be under the title The Empty Stocking, is inspired by Curtis’ book of the same name in addition to Snow Day and the forthcoming That Christmas. Each book tells a family story that takes place in the run-up to Christmas in a rural coastal town based on the author’s home.
Locksmith Animation is partnering creatively on the feature with Curtis and his team that includes illustrator Rebecca Cobb, executive Colin Hopkins and writer Peter Souter. Curtis and Souter will write the screenplay. Veteran producer Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story, Tarzan) will join Locksmith heads Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart to oversee the project.
Curtis said: “It’s been such a pleasure writing these books—with Rebecca Cobb’s wonderful drawings—that I’m thrilled about the idea of turning them into a film. When I was young, Charlie Brown’s Christmas was my favorite Christmas thing—and I love the idea of making something that might be a joy at Christmas. I hope we can make it funny and touching and conjure up some of the magic that Christmas movies have always done for me and my family.”
Smith said: “We are thrilled to be working with iconic British talent like Richard, of whom we are perennial fans, and delighted to be partnering on this utterly charming and unique material. It is a perfect opportunity to expand Locksmith’s stories into new formats, and forge new relationships with digital platforms.”