The creators of Wallace & Gromit have denied that the upcoming film featuring the duo will be the last due to a shortage of their unique brand of clay.
The studio, which also created Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep and Arthur Christmas, uses Lewis Newplast, a plasticine-like substance that is easy to mould but holds its shape under warm studio lights. The only factory that makes it, in Torquay, shut down earlier this year.
But with Chicken Run sequel Dawn of the Nugget due out on Netflix on December 15 and an as-yet untitled new Wallace & Gromit film due out in 2024, Aardman have moved to deny that the shortage of Lewis Newplast spells an end for the studio.
“We are touched about recent concern over the future of our beloved clay creations, but wanted to reassure fans that there is absolutely no need to worry,” read a statement posted on social media.
— Aardman (@aardman) November 20, 2023
“We have high levels of existing stocks of modelling clay to service current and future productions and, much like Wallace in his workshop, we have been tinkering away behind the scenes for quite some time with plans in place to ensure a smooth transition to new stocks to continue to make our iconic productions.”
Aardman Animations was founded in 1972 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, first gaining traction in 1989 with the first Wallace & Gromit short A Grand Day Out, and Creature Comforts the following year.
2000’s Chicken Run, which starred Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha, followed a group of chickens as they attempted to launch a desperate escape from a Yorkshire poultry farm.
The release is still the highest-grossing stop-motion film of all time, while the Chicken Run sequel was first confirmed back in 2018.
Dawn of the Nugget comes from the same writing team as the original, Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, and it will feature the voices of Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi and Bella Ramsey among others.