June 11 (UPI) -- Terry Pratchett's book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents will be adapted as an animated film.
The late author's production company, Narrativia, confirmed the news in a press release Tuesday.
Germany-based Ulysses Filmproduktion and Irish company Cantilever Media are developing the adaptation. German director Toby Genkel (Ooops! Noah is Gone...) will direct the new movie.
"The Amazing Maurice will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysess' complete focus and attention to detail to fulfill our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story," Ulysses Filmproduktion CEO Emeley Christians said.
Terry Rossio (Shrek, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean) will write the screenplay, with character designs by Carter Goodrich (Ratatouille, The Croods, Brave). Roddy McManus and Robert Chandler will executive produce.
The Amazing Maurice is the 28th novel in Pratchett's Discworld series and the first for children. The story is a reimagining of the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend and follows Maurice, a streetwise cat.
"As a lifelong Pratchett fan, bringing to screen one of his most cherished novels is going to be immensely exciting. Terry Rossio's screenplay twists and turns and produces an unexpected yet heartwarming ending, with Carter Goodrich's designs bringing these characters to life in their own unique style, which I'm sure audiences will love," Cantilever CEO Andrew Baker said.
Pratchett, also known for the novel Good Omens, died at age 66 in March 2015.
"Bringing this story to life was so important to Terry and it upsets me that he won't get to see the finished film, but the teams at Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media are honoring his vision and I am absolutely delighted," Narrativia managing director Rob Wilkins said.
Baker told Variety production will begin at the end of the year. The film is slated for release in early 2022.