Mercury Filmworks is delving into feature films for the first time with Once Our Land, a 2D-animated co-pro with fellow Canadian studio Goodbye Productions.
Based on a graphic novel (pictured) from Peter Ricq, the fantasy/sci-fi movie for family audiences centers around an 11-year-old girl living in Europe during the 1800s. Things take an apocalyptic turn for Ingrid when she has to fend for herself against beasts from another world.
Ricq will direct the adaptation, which is being written for screen by Phil Ivanusic Vallée. The duo previously worked together on animation series The League of Super Evil and live-action film Dead Shack.
Telefilm and the Harold Greenberg Fund are supporting the project with development funding, and Mercury is looking to have its financing in place by Q3 2022. According to Chantal Ling, VP of original series & co-productions, the plan is to release Once Our Land by Q4 2023—ideally in North American theaters—and it will also make the rounds on the festival circuit.
Mercury is getting into films to give its studio talent a chance to tell longer stories, says Ling. But the Ottawa-based studio has been ramping up its original development work in general recently, with projects such as Hello, My Name is Octicorn and Pangors of Puddle Peak.