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Demo reel for canceled Mouse Guard reveals the epic fantasy that could’ve been

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The movie was nixed after the Disney-Fox merger

The Disney-Fox merger killed a lot of in-the works projects from the absorbed studio — including the much-anticipated Mouse Guard adaptation from Maze Runner director Wes Ball. Based on the Eisner-award winning comic series of the same name, Mouse Guard was going to be an epic fantasy about a world of mice inhabiting a lush forest world. The project was halted back in April after the merger, but Ball confirmed the rumors of cancelation Tuesday night on Twitter.

Along with the official word, Ball released a nine-minute demo reel, rendered using Epic’s Unreal engine. The demo isn’t meant to reflect how the movie would actually look — you can see a little glimpse of the actual mouse design in the Twitter clip above — but rather to capture the movie’s feel.

The clip opens on a lush forest setting, and eventually showcases the mice hustling about their little town, riding formidable tortoises and birds through the woods, and battling against various scary woodland creatures. There is also a somber mouse funeral and the epic flames of a heated battle.

Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster were set to voice characters in Mouse Guard. As for Ball, the director remains attached to direct The Chrysalis, described as a suburban horror film.