Chicken Run 2 director talks 23-year wait and ditching Mel Gibson for Zachary Levi | Films | Entertainment

December 15, 2023
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23 years after Chicken Run thrilled fans across the world in 2000, Rocky, Ginger and the rest of the formerly cooped-up gang are back with a new addition to the family after a number of obstacles threatened to stop the project in its tracks over the years.

Speaking to Daily Express at the London Film Festival, director Sam Fell explained that the two-decade gap between films wasn’t at all intended but as a result, most of the original cast also had to be replaced.

He explained: “The first movie is so great and such a milestone for the studio and British animation in general, we had to make this one as great as the first one in its own right.

“The bar was very high so we couldn’t just turn something around quickly. We’re slow filmmakers and good things take a long time.

“It just takes time to make good things,” he added referring to the laborious process behind stop-motion animation.

READ MORE: Ab Fab’s Julia Sawalha feuded with Aardman over ‘ageist’ Chicken Run 2 recasting

When the recasting was announced in 2020, 55-year-old Julia released an open letter saying she was “devastated and saddened” by the news and claimed she was told her voice “now sounds ‘too old’” for the role despite Thandiwe being only four years younger.

However, Sam, who wasn’t involved in the original film, explained the decision a bit more on the red carpet saying: “Because it’s been so long since the first one I felt it was a reboot more than just a simple sequel.

“I really adore the first movie, I think the cast is brilliant, and I really just want to evolve the thing and make it my own.

“It’s just part of the evolution of Chicken Run to be its own thing. We make the film for now, as well as being really super respectful of the first one so it’s a blend of old and new.”

Some other fresh faces joining the franchise include Romesh Ranganathan and Daniel Mays replacing Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels as rats Nick and Fetcher.

Additionally, David Bradley voices the elderly rooster Fowler after the death of the original voice actor, Benjamin Whitrow, in 2017.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is available to watch on Netflix.



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