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It's been more than three years since Shane Acker's directorial debut, the animated film 9, arrived in theaters, but finally the filmmaker has found his next project. Reel FX has hired Acker to helm Beasts of Burden, a brand new animated film that will be based on the Dark Horse comic series by Evan Dorkin and artist Jill Thompson.

The story in the film is set in a small town called Burden Hill where all kinds of supernatural strangeness regularly occurs. The protectors of the town and its inhabitants are a group of five dogs named Ace, Rex, Jack, Whitey, and Pugsley as well as a cat named Orphan. The characters first appeared in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, which was first released in August 2003.

Variety, which reported the news of Acker's hiring, says that writer Darren Lemke (Jack The Giant Slayer, Shrek Forever After) will be handling screenwriting duties, though the trade doesn't mention any specific plot details about the feature or when the film is aiming for release.

While Acker hasn't directed a movie since 9, he has kept busy behind the scenes in the visual effects department of some major films. Last year he did previsitualization art for both Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Total Recall and later this year his name will be found in the credits as the previsualization supervisor on Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin. He also previously worked as an animator at Weta Digital for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.