Over at Netflix, the chickens have come home to roost. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, the long-anticipated sequel to 2000’s Chicken Run, is set to debut on Netflix on December 15. But first, Nugget will have its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Chicken Run sequel will “hatch” on October 14 at London’s Royal Festival Hall, with simultaneous preview screenings at various sites around the U.K. The Chickens continue to run courtesy of director Sam Fell, the BAFTA-nominated talent behind previous stop motion gem, ParaNorman (2012), and Aardman’s first CGI offering, 2006’s Flushed Away.
After a world premiere on October 14 at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Chicken Run sequel will debut on Netflix on December 15.
Last year, the London Film Festival featured a different stop-motion animated film, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. which then went on to win an Oscar for Best Animated Film. Aardman, the stop-motion studio behind Chicken Run and its sequel, as well as popular claymation duo Wallace and Gromit, are no doubt hoping that Dawn of the Nugget will follow a similar course.
Despite taking place shortly after the events in the original, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is coming out over 20 years after its predecessor, necessitating some casting changes to replace the now much older original voice actors.
One of the biggest changes Aardman made was replacing Mel Gibson with Shazam! actor Zachary Levi as the voice of the lead rooster, Rocky. Ironically, Aardman replaced the problematic Gibson with the allegedly problematic Levi, whose tweets earlier this year were perceived by some as anti-vax.
Other new cast members include Thandiwe Newton, replacing Julia Sawalha as the plucky Ginger, and Bella Ramsey, fresh off of the hugely popular The Last of Us, as newcomer Molly. Returning cast members include Imelda Staunton as Bunty and Jane Horrocks as Babs. The movie was written by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell, and Rachel Tunnard.
Despite being almost a quarter of a century old, Chicken Run is still the highest-grossing stop-motion animated movie of all time.
The plot of the movie sees the chickens from the first Chicken Run living their best lives on a remote island where no one wants to turn them into pies. Unfortunately, a new threat develops on the mainland that puts all of chicken-kind in danger. Now Ginger must leave her island paradise and return to the world she left behind to save her species from utter destruction.
Despite being almost a quarter of a century old, Chicken Run is still the highest-grossing stop-motion animated movie of all time. With such a prestigious legacy to live up to, the makers of Chicken Run: The Dawn of Nugget are no doubt feeling the pressure to make sure that the sequel measures up to its predecessor.
Fell, for his part, promises a sequel where the filmmakers have “poured everything we’ve got” into a movie that will interest “diehard fans” and “the new generation of families discovering Chicken Run for the first time.”
Meanwhile, the director of the BFI London Film Festival, Kristy Matheson, stated that she was “so excited” to be “sharing the magic and artistry of the Aardman studio and their favorite feathered friends” with the audience at the festival and called the second Chicken Run “A film that’s brimming with fun and has such an enormous heart.”
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget premieres on Netflix December 15, 2023.