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The Warriors movie[4] is the working title for the upcoming live action[5] CGI animated[1] movie based on the series.

Production

On November 19th, 2016, David Heyman,[6] producer of the Harry Potter movie franchise,[7] was signed on by Alibaba Pictures to produce the Warriors film. Heyman describes the project as "a perfect Chinese-British project." STX board member Gigi Pritzer will produce the movie alongside Heyman.[1]
According to the release, a deal for the film rights was signed in October between Alibaba Pictures, Working Partners and its parent company Coolabi Group Limited at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.[8]
"Heyman is the perfect pick to produce the film," said Alibaba Pictures President Zhang Wei in the statement. "His talent and experience in filmmaking is sure to make Warriors a world-class blockbuster."[9] Zhang also promised the fans that the film "wouldn't disappoint,"[10] saying that "Alibaba Pictures is planning to turn Warriors into a film franchise that will bring to life the spectacular animal and jungle worlds depicted in the novels, using world-leading visual effects."
On May 14th, 2018, award winning Hollywood pair, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Burger, have signed on to be the screenwriters for the film.[1]
David Heyman and Alibaba Pictures do not know how many adaptations would be made out of the novels.[6] The producer added, "The interesting thing about the books is there are such a lot of narratives. And the books are still being written, so there will be as many films as long as we can keep telling interesting stories and the audience is receptive of it. We'll keep on making it."
The first live-action film with computer-generated characters will be an origin story, which follows the path of main character Rusty, a pet cat raised by humans, and his joining a wild cat Clan in the forest.[11]
As of 2019, the language for the film is unknown, and may not necessarily be an English language or Chinese language movie. "The beauty of it is there are no humans walking around in the stories. What you have is you have cats. Cats are not specific to any country," David Heyman said about the movie. "Though I suspect it'd probably be set in a forest in the U.K., because the authors are British. We may use actors anywhere. It's too early to tell, but we're open to all possibilities."[6]
The film will be a China - U.K co-production between Alibaba Pictures and Heyman's Heyday Films. Heyman spoke about the project and its Chinese roots. "Everybody wants to get into China, and China wants its culture out there," said Heyman. "It's not easy; there are different techniques in storytelling. Even though there is a lot of common ground emotionally and spiritually, and thematically. So I believe it is possible, and I believe what is great about this Warriors adaptation is that it's not Chinese, it's not British, it's both. And so it's the very best way for that soft power to be expressed."[6]
Motion picture will not be used to capture the cats' performance. Instead, they will use actors for reference.[6]
There is no budget set for the film yet - the cost of filming and visual effects would have to be looked at before a budget can be properly set.
On the Italian paperback version of Starlight, a Warriors movie is mentioned for late 2018, but no official release date has been given by the producers.[12] This date is proven to be incorrect, as because of 2019, there has been no news about the release of the film.
When asked about involving the authors for the Warriors film, Heyman said, "with “Harry Potter” and “Paddington,” in neither of those cases were [the novelists] involved on a daily basis. But I’m an inclusive producer. Same with “The Light Between Oceans” or “The Yes Man.” I’ve done a lot of adaptations, and it is important that there be a separation between the book and the film. Because it is not a translation; it is an adaptation. But I always like sharing it with authors so they can prepare for the fact that it is different medium. But I’ve been lucky that the authors have understood that – Michael Bond, Jo [Rowling], and John Boyne [author of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”] have been generous and understanding. But it is a little nerve-wracking when you show them the script. I generally don’t show then the first draft. I usually want it a little further along."[13]
The amount of books in the Warriors series was also mentioned to Heyman, who responded with, "Everything in the world. “Potter” was the same. Warner acquired the first one, and then there were trigger points for subsequent books. What I don’t know is how many [films] there will be. With “Potter,” we did one book, one film, until the end, and then we did two films with the last book. With this, we don’t yet know if we will be working across multiple books. I imagine that we will use more than the first book in the first film. It is like a really excellent melodrama. It could be a wonderful long-running TV show as well, because of its complexity and the amount of narrative within. What is important is that you try and give it a unity and it doesn’t just feel like a series of episodes."[13]
The timetable for the movie has not been set yet. When asked about this, Heyman told the reporter, "None has been set. We have to find a good writer first. It is much better to work this way. I hate working to release schedules. I have and I do. But I always prefer to have the luxury of making something as good as it can be. “Paddington” was a good example of that. One of the challenges, after Warner Bros. put it into turnaround, was actually slowing down the process because I didn’t feel it was ready. One of the many gifts that “Potter” has given me is the ability to say: “Let’s not rush. I don’t need to make this. And if I’m going to make it, it needs to be good.” So the project took seven or eight years. I’m hoping “Warriors” won’t take so long."[13]
Warriors will not be a low budget film, but it will not be an entirely high one either. Heyman has said, "They haven’t been discussed. With “Paddington” we had a budget from the studio that was 50% higher than the budget we ended up making. Warriors will not be a low-budget film. You can’t do something that is digital animation that cheaply. It shouldn’t be a $200 million film. And it’s not a $10 million budget film either."[13]
The movie may or may not be shot in China. It is possible that it can all be done CGI wise, but it is mentioned to depend on the budget.[13]
Heyman referred to this film as an origin movie, not a franchise. When asked to elaborate, he responded with, "In my mind I’ve never worked on a franchise. I’ve never made a franchise film, because that’s looking outside-in. Rather, it is really about finding what you connect with in a story and making the best film you can. If we don’t make a good first film, there is no franchise. If we don’t make a good second film, there is no franchise. Somebody asked about if there will be video games. That would be great, but first let’s make a good film. A film has the opportunity to build awareness that leads to all the other things."[13]
When he was asked about who he was looking for in a director, Heyman replied, "A humanist. And someone who knows how to work with animation. Or maybe we partner the director with a very strong animation director. I want someone who connects with the story and characters in the same way that I do. Someone who has a visual side but is also comfortable with the depth of the emotion and the breadth of tone that this has. Because it is funny, it is sad, it is thrilling, and there is a lot of high drama. One of the challenges is getting that emotion across with animals — with cats."[13]
Currently, Heyman does not have the script for Warriors yet. It also remains to be seen if the creative team will be composed mostly by the Chinese. Although Alibaba Pictures is on board for this movie, there is no guarantee that it will be released in China. It was also reported that the film will be in 3D.

References and citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed on variety.com
  2. Revealed on hollywoodreporter.com hollywoodreporter.com
  3. revealed on hollywoodreporter.com
  4. Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
  5. Revealed on hollywoodreporter.com
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Revealed on variety.com
  7. Revealed on David Heyman's Wikipedia article
  8. Revealed on globaltimes.cn
  9. Revealed on globaltimes.cn
  10. Revealed on globaltimes.cn
  11. Revealed on hollywoodreporter.com
  12. Revealed on the back cover of the Italian version of Starlight
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 Revealed on variety.com
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