Salma Hayek can breathe easy now. Her passion project “Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet” is finally coming to the big screen.
Directed by Roger Allers (“The Lion King”), “The Prophet” is a collaborative animated tale featuring individual “chapters” from animation legends such as Tomm Moore (“The Secret of Kells” “Song of the Sea”), Joan Gratz (Academy Award winner for “Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase”), Bill Plympton (“Guard Dog and Your Face”), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi (“Fantasia 2000”) and Mohammed Harib (“Freej”), among others. It's based on Gilbran's 1923 book and features a voice cast including Hayek, Liam Neeson, Quvenzhané Wallis, John Krasinski, Frank Langella and Alfred Molina. The film's score is by Oscar winner Gabriel Yared (“The English Patient”) and it also includes additional music from Damien Rice, Glenn Hansard (“Once”) and Lisa Hannigan. So, yes, that's a lot of pedigree talent in the mix.
“The Prophet” debuted to positive reviews at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, but producer Hayek was unable to find a studio willing to release it in time for Oscar consideration last year. Hayek, who also campaigned at major film festivals around the world to raise money and awareness of the movie, was also hoping a mini-major would distribute it in the U.S. Unfortunately, while the film is from a child's point of view it likely isn't a substantial commercial play in America. Enter GKids, who has had tremendous success earning Oscar nominations for below-the-radar animated films.
In January, GKids earned two Academy Award nominations for both “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya” and “Song of the Sea.” Overall, the company has six nominations in the Best Animated Feature category and are setting “The Prophet” up to be their seventh. The distributor announced today that “The Prophet” will open in New York and Los Angeles on August 7 and, eventually, open nationwide in the weeks to follow.
Currently, “The Prophet” has an 80% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with just five reviews submitted, but HitFix's own Drew McWeeny gave it an A out of Toronto and it recently earned a rave from Peter Debruge in Variety.
Other potential Best Animated Feature contenders this year include Pixar's “Inside Out,” DreamWorks Animation's “Home,” Pixar's “The Good Dinosaur” and Universal Pictures' “Minions.”
You can watch a new preview of “The Prophet” embedded at the bottom of this post.