Robert Rodriguez, Eddie Murphy, and Elton John Are All Working on New Animated Films

The Uglydolls are one of three new animated films coming from STX Entertainment. Image: Uglydoll
The Uglydolls are one of three new animated films coming from STX Entertainment. Image: Uglydoll

The names Robert Rodriguez, Eddie Murphy, and Elton John don’t really go together. One’s a cult action director, the second an iconic comedian, and the third a musical legend. But thanks to the world of animation, there’s now a common link between the three.


Each is working on a new animated film from STX Entertainment, the emerging film studio which released Bad Moms and The Edge of Seventeen and will release Valerian in July. The announcements were made today at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

Rodriguez will produce and direct Uglydolls, based on the popular independent toy line, for release on May 10, 2019. That’s a pretty bold release date, a week after Avengers 4, but the studio seems to think it’s got a unique property on its hands. One that “has heart, a message, and way of thinking that’s new to the animated world,” according to some early footage shown. It’ll be Rodriguez’s first full-length animated film and pre-production is well underway, according to some early concept images and tests that were shared.


Next, Murphy will provide his voice, and likely produce, an untitled film set in the world of rodeos and bull riding. The story follows the fiercest bull of all time who hopes his son will follow in his footsteps. The problem is, his son doesn’t want to be a bull that gets ridden. He wants to be the rodeo clown. No other news was announced about a release date or the creative team, but it seemed like a lot of early concept work was already completed.

Finally, STX is making an animated version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Elton John will team with the classic musical’s original creators, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, to bring the movie to the big screen, complete with new songs. All that was revealed about this was a logo, which looked just as you’d expect.

We’ll have more from CinemaCon as the week progresses.

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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Wow. The level of excitement for the projects of a brown man, a black man, and gay man is overwhelming here. God forbid.