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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 15:15 GMT
Wallace and Gromit's Hollywood date
Wallace and Gromit
Nick Park has Hollywood plans
Animator Nick Park is hoping Wallace and Gromit will take cinemas by storm in a film made for Steven Spielberg.

The Oscar-winning characters are being lined up for the third of a five-film series being made by Park's Aardman Animations company for Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG outfit.

The first film to be made from the 167m deal, Chicken Run, is scheduled for release in the UK on June 30.
Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg: Dreamworks has a 167m deal with Aardman
Work is just getting under way on his second film, a version of the Tortoise And The Hare fable, but Park is hoping to make Hollywood stars out of his two most famous creations in the third.

Aardman spokesman Arthur Sheriff said: "Only casual conversations have taken place so far, but I can say that Nick would like his next movie to be a Wallace and Gromit movie.

"At the moment, he is involved with promoting Chicken Run, but when he's calmed down he will start thing about his next movie.

"Aardman's interpretation of The Tortoise And The Hare is currently in pre-production, but at the moment Nick would like the third film to be a Wallace and Gromit full-length release."

All-star cast

Chicken Run, which lasts 80 minutes, features Hollywood actor Mel Gibson as cocky cockerel Rocky The Rhode Island Red.

The 30m film also features the voices of Miranda Richardson, Jane Horrocks, Phil Daniels and Timothy Spall.

The Tortoise And The Hare is set for release in late 2002 or early 2003, with Wallace and Gromit pencilled in for 2004.
Nick Park at the 1996 Oscars
Nick Park has won two Oscars thanks to his creations
Meanwhile, Wallace and Gromit will star in a six-minute short film to be shown in cinemas from 2001.

The as-yet-untitled film would be in "the grand tradition" of Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry shorts, Sheriff said.

He added Wallace would continue to be voiced by Last Of The Summer Wine actor Peter Sallis, saying: "Wallace could only be played by Peter Sallis."

So far, the duo have starred in three half-hour adventures for the BBC - A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and A Close Shave, which was the most expensive of the trio, costing 1.25m. The latter two films both won Oscars.

Sales of Wallace and Gromit merchandise, meanwhile, are worth more than 50m a year.

See also:

30 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Preston's plasticine man
29 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Gromit goes to Hollywood
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