It's always a joy to see indie opportunities emerge in animation, especially when telling inspirational stories, as in the case of Fireheart. Set in New York during the Roaring 1920s, the film follows a young girl aspiring to be the world's first female firefighter, who refuses to let others define her life as she attempts her dream. The family film set to star Kenneth Branagh, Olivia Cooke. Laurie Holden, and William Shatner, according to Variety.
Fireheart will be produced by Main Journey, Anton, and Caramel Films, scheduled for completion in 2021. The film will boast an original soundtrack, including a re-orchestrated 1920's style covers of modern pop songs. Creators and leading producers are Laurent Zeitoun and Yann Zenou; both are behind The Intouchables and the animated feature, Leap!. The pair are overseeing the production from L'Atelier Animation Studios in Montreal. Zeitoun is co-directing Fireheart with How to Train Your Dragon 2's Ted Ty, who served as an animation director on Leap!. Zeitoun co-wrote the script with Jennica Harper, Lisa Hunter, and Daphne Ballon.
The film revolves around the sixteen-year-old Georgia Nolan (Cooke) who has the impossible dream of becoming a firefighter at a time when women are not allowed to serve. When a mysterious arsonist starts burning down Broadway, one by one all the firemen in the city disappear. Georgia's beloved father, Shawn (Branagh), is called out of retirement by the Mayor of NY (Shatner) to lead the investigation as Captain in the FDNY. Desperate to help her father and save her city, Georgia resorts to disguising herself as a young man called "Joe" and joins the small group of misfit firefighters trying to stop the arsonist, risking everything she loves to do it.
"Fireheart is one of the most highly anticipated independent animated features amongst our buyers, and the studio-level quality of L'Atelier Animation's work is outstanding," said Anton executive Cecile Gaget, who previously led international sales at Gaumont where she worked with Zeitoun and Zenou and handled Leap!. "This fun and joyful film with its themes of a young girl's empowerment, and a community coming together to save the things they love, could not be more timely."
Branagh is in Tenet for Warner Bros, currently in theatres, and will be in the upcoming Death on the Nile for 20th Century Studios. Cook starred in Pixie for Paramount Pictures UK and will be in the upcoming Little Fish for IFC Films slated for a February 2021 release. She completed filming Naked Singularity. Holden also lent her voice for the animated feature Arctic Dogs for Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures and starred on the short-lived FOX series Proven Innocent. Shatner lent his voice in the animated feature To Your Last Death for Quiver. He also appeared on the TV series Private Eyes for ITV and co-starred with fellow Star Trek alum Jeri Ryan in Devil's Revenge for Cleopatra Entertainment.