Paul McCartney has finally set in motion the animated adaptation of his 2005 children's adventure novel High In The Clouds. First reported in 2013, McCartney has now assembled a team for the movie that will be directed by Toby Genkel, scored by Michael Giacchino and penned by Jon Croker, with Patrick Hanenberger as production designer.
McCartney and illustrator Geoff Dunbar worked together to bring to life 1984's Rupert and the Frog Song and the two continued to sketch and script over the ensuing years with the intention of creating another project.
The movie will be a loose adaptation of the book and will include six original songs by McCartney (who is also expected to voice one of the characters). Gaumont, the venerable French studio, will oversee co-production and distribution. The feature project is believed to be one of the biggest and most prestigious animated features being produced independently in Europe, without the involvement of a US studio.
According to Variety, the plot "follows the journey of a headstrong teenage squirrel, Wirral, who lives in Gretschville, a city where music has been banned by a diva-owl, Gretsch, who wants to be the only singer in town. Determined to overthrow Gretsch and bring music back to his town, Wirral joins forces with an underground band of legendary musicians who hide high in the clouds, in a secret place called Harmonia."
Eagle-eye McCartney fans will know that 'Wirral' is a peninsula situated directly across from Liverpool and 'Gretsch' is a musical instrument manufacturer with ties back to George Harrison, who played one on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance on February 9, 1964.
Gaumont will introduce the 3D animated film to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market (AFM) where a sizzle reel including some music demos from McCartney will be revealed. In addition to a McCartney-voiced character, two other major music stars are in advanced talks to come on board. Final delivery of the film is expected sometime in 2026.
Since High in the Clouds, McCartney has written the children’s books Hey Grandude! and Grandude's Green Submarine.