The chickens are coming home to roost once again. Far and away the most successful stop-motion animated feature ever, Aardman’s Chicken Run is finally getting a sequel 20 years later. Chicken Run 2 which is titled Dawn of the Nugget is set to be released in 2023.
A fun spin on The Great Escape, the film follows a group of chickens led by Ginger and an American rooster named Rocky trying to escape before their owner can turn them into meat pies. It’s a very cute and funny movie. The film was a huge success at the time and earned more than $224 million, making it the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film in history. Nearly two decades after the first run of the chickens, now it’s shaping up to get a sequel for Netflix.
First announced in 2018, the sequel will reportedly follow the chickens on the island they escaped to at the end of the first film, only to see a new threat emerge against their way of life. Nick Park, co-director of the original and mastermind behind Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, is sitting in the producer’s chair this time around. Sam Fell, director of Aardman’s 2006 hit Flushed Away, is replacing Park as director. Original writers Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, who penned the script for the first film, are also back. Despite partnering on the original film, DreamWorks Animation will not be involved with the sequel due to their relationship with Aardman ending.
The sequel of the film will be happening in collaboration with Netflix. The plot synopsis provided by Netflix: Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland, the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. Molly will soon outgrow the chickens’ island just as they learn of a new threat back on the mainland. In the face of that threat, Ginger must once again rally her troops to defend the chickens’ home and very existence.
The logline, “this time, they’re breaking in,” seems to tell us that the adventure will reverse what happened the first time when they broke out of their life on the farm. It also sounds like they will use the same slapstick strategies as they did in the first outing. Director Sam Fell promised that the action sequences from the first would be back, saying:
“All the gadgets, the kit, we’re kind of moving towards an almost-tribute to ‘Mission: Impossible’ with elements of heist and how they’re going to pull off this amazing break-in.”
From that information alone, it sounds as though the team is doing everything possible to recapture what made the original Chicken Run work while giving us a new story with new characters to root for. We still have to wait for more specific information, which likely will be revealed as the release date approaches.
In January 2022, Netflix revealed the official title of the sequel: ‘Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.
Who Is Cast In Chicken Run 2?
The original Chicken Run starred Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha as Rocky and Ginger. However, neither of them will be back for the sequel. Gibson will not be recast after allegations of his racism and antisemitism came to light in previous years. Thandiwe Newton and Zachary Levi are taking their place.
Game of Thrones actor Bella Ramsey is on board as Rocky and Ginger’s daughter Molly. In addition, David Bradley of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fame is replacing Benjamin Whitrow as elderly Royal Air Force veteran rooster Fowler. Comedian Romesh Ranganathan and actor Daniel Mays will be portraying the scheming rat partners Nick and Fetcher. Ranganathan and Mays replace Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels from the original, respectively.
Not all characters were recast, though. Jane Horrocks is back as knitting-loving hen Babs, while Imelda Staunton will return as the cynical Bunty, and Lynn Ferguson is set to reprise her role as Ginger’s Scottish assistant Mac. Rounding out the cast are comedians Nick Mohammed and Josie Sedgewick-Davies portraying the new characters of Dr. Fry and Frizzle, respectively. While these are all the confirmed roles as of now, it is possible that additional cast announcements will follow in the coming months.
Chicken Run 2 Release Date
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is set to be released on Netflix sometime in 2023, though we do not know when exactly in 2023 or what territories. However, Aardman’s new Wallace and Gromit film is premiering first on the BBC before its worldwide Netflix release, so it is possible that we could see a similar strategy employed here with Chicken Run. All we can do now is wait and see.