Johnny Depp arrives for the 80th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 24, 2008. (UPI Photo/Phil McCarten) | License Photo
HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Hollywood's Paramount Pictures announced Wednesday it has signed Gore Verbinski to helm his first animated feature film, "Rango."
The project will reunite the director with his "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp, who will voice the title character, the movie studio said.
Set for a March 2011 release, the film was written by "Gladiator" and "Sweeney Todd" scribe John Logan.
The animation for "Rango" will be provided by the San Francisco-based Industrial Light and Magic, Paramount said, adding that Verbinski is already experienced in computer-generated animation and will be employing techniques he developed with ILM in the creation of the Davy Jones character in the "Pirates" movies, which won the 2006 Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
"The combination of Gore's exciting vision and the talents of John Logan and Johnny Depp make 'Rango' a great tentpole for Paramount's 2011 slate," Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, said in a statement.
"'Rango' is an oddly charismatic character that is perfectly suited for Johnny Depp's extraordinary abilities," added Verbinski. "The techniques we are employing will allow us to capture and translate every aspect of Johnny's performance, using it to drive the computer-generated character in a way that has yet to be seen in an animated feature. This is not a disembodied voice: Johnny Depp is Rango."