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Oddworld's 'Citizen Siege' Movie/Game Project Revealed

by Rainier on Oct. 30, 2006 @ 1:50 a.m. PST

During last weekend's GameCity 2006 Oddworld co-founder Lorne Lanning announced in his keynote speech that he'll be directing an animated movie entitled Citizen Siege, a dark political thriller set in the near future, in association with Shrek producer John Williams' Vanguard Films. Oddworld is looking for a videogame publisher to create a tie-in game that could be released simultaneously.

In CITIZEN SIEGE, Lanning and McKenna are creating a new universe where current global conditions are extrapolated into a frightening near future where democracy has all but disintegrated under the rule of global corporatism. Well-known for their heartfelt characters and socially relevant storylines, Oddworld intends to raise the intensity level as their latest hero, an ex-patriot, finds himself ensnared in a nightmarish credit racket that leaves him "repossessed."

"We're thrilled to be in partnership with John Williams and the wonderful folks at Vanguard to birth our latest universe," said McKenna. "Their expertise, experience, and passionate vision for where the animated film market is headed enables CITIZEN SIEGE the support necessary to deliver the next generation of animated experience that mature audiences are ready for. "

Williams added, "'Abe's Odyssey' was a genre busting original game and was the first one I fell in love with. CITIZEN SIEGE promises to be an action thriller that, like other great science fiction stories, also has incredible poignancy to the universal issues of our time. Lorne and Sherry are highly revered as founding masters of CG animation and we think CITIZEN SIEGE is perfectly suited to be a break out action adventure."

CITIZEN SIEGE will mark Lanning's first directing foray into feature animation. His announcement comes after a year of silence from Oddworld, when it last announced the company would be redirecting energies away from internal video game development and would hence forth be focused on a broader palette of digital storytelling that would include animated feature films.

Vanguard's success with animated features dates back to the SHREK franchise, which Williams optioned, developed and produced at Dreamworks. SHREK was the first Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature in 2001, and its Academy Award nominated sequel, SHREK 2, grossed over $900 million worldwide at the box office. Their first CG animated feature, VALIANT, was released in 2005. Vanguard also retains an active live-action slate of projects in various stages of development.

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