Simon Smith, who co-directed DreamWorks Animations’ Bee Movie, had been tapped to direct the animation house’s untitled Madagascar spin-off starring the penguins.
Also coming on board is Lara Breay (Megamind), who will produce.
DWA put the movie project into fast-track development in March, hiring Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, the writers behind DWA's Will Ferrell-voiced Megamind, to pen the script focusing on the paramilitary parables of plucky penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico.
The quartet are the secondary but scene-stealing characters of the Madagascar movies.
The project is still a ways a way from casting anyone.
Smith is a DWA animator who has slowly but surely risen through the ranks. He was head of layout for the company’s Antz and Shrek, and a layout consultant on Shrek 2 before directing the Shrek 4-D animated attraction which is part of the Universal Studios theme park. He also directed two video shorts that were DVD extras on DWA releases: the Shrek-themed short Far Far Away Idol and Megamind: The Button of Doom.
The Jerry Seinfeld-centric Bee Movie, released in 2007, was co-directed with Steve Hickner.