Stop the presses! A new Feature Length Stop Motion AARDMAN Animated film about PIRATES!?!?!
Hey folks, Harry here... Just recently got home from Rehab and discovered this goodness of a press release in my email! THe news that there's a new AARDMAN stop motion animated film... and given that it is in 3D - and for my money the best 3D film I've seen to date is still CORALINE - and I wonder if AARDMAN will be doing that same arduous task of incrementally taking two images by moving the camera the precise measurements to create perfect 3D like CORALINE. All I know is magic will undoubtedly be gracing a silver screen with this!
HUGH GRANT TAKES THE LEAD IN “THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS”
AN AARDMAN PRODUCTION FOR SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen Also On Board
CULVER CITY, Calif., May 5, 2011 – Hugh Grant will voice the lead role alongside an all-star cast in The Pirates! Band of Misfits, the new stop-motion, 3D, animated film produced by Aardman Animations for Sony Pictures Animation. The film, which will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, will be released March 30, 2012 in North America.
Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!
The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Aardman’s most ambitious stop-motion film to date, will be created with the same beautiful hand-crafted technique that the company brought to the Academy Award®-winning film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run. The film is directed by Peter Lord, a founding partner of Aardman, director of Chicken Run (with Nick Park), and a two-time Academy Award® nominee for his short films at the company. The film is co-directed by Jeff Newitt. The screenplay is by Gideon Defoe, based upon his books. Production Designer is Norman Garwood. Producers are Peter Lord, David Sproxton, and Julie Lockhart. Executive Producer is Carla Shelley.
Commenting on the announcement, Lord said, “I’m so grateful to the entire cast for their talent and energy. The characters that they’ve created fill the screen with life and fun. As the Pirate Captain, Hugh Grant has given a stand-out performance – he combines an effortless on-screen warmth with brilliant comic timing. And as the leader of our motley pirate crew, he shows a real barnstorming, swashbuckling side of his character as well. Only Hugh could anchor this story of love, loyalty, greed, and nautical high-jinks.”
HUGH GRANT most recently starred in Did You Hear About the Morgans?, Music and Lyrics, American Dreamz, Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel,Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, both with Renee Zellweger; the ensemble comedy hit Love Actually, and Two Weeks’ Notice. He won a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA for his performance in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and was nominated for Golden Globes for his performances inNotting Hill and About a Boy. His many other feature film credits include An Awfully Big Adventure, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, Sense and Sensibility, Mickey Blue Eyes, Small Time Crooks, and Extreme Measures, which he also produced.
MARTIN FREEMAN has worked extensively in theatre, television, and film. He will soon begin production in the title role of Peter Jackson’s TheHobbit. His many film credits include Swinging with the Finkels, Wild Target, Nativity!, Nightwatching, Hot Fuzz, Dedication, The Good Night,Breaking and Entering, The All Together, Confetti, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually, and Ali G Indahouse. Theatre includes “The Exonerated,” “Blue Eyes,” “Kosher Harry,” and “The Comedians”; Freeman’s last stage performance was late 2010 in the smash hit “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris at the Royal Court. Television includes The Office (BBC – Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais & Nick Jones), “Micros Men” (BBC – Saul Metzstein), “Boy Meets Girl (ITV – Alrick Riley), “The Robinsons (BBC – Mark Bussell & Justin Sbresni), “Hardwear” (ITV – Ben Kellet), Charles II (BBC – Joe Wright). Last year Martin starred in “Sherlock” playing Dr Watson opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, produced by Sue Vertue for BBC.
DAVID TENNANT is best known for his three seasons starring in the BBC’s “Doctor Who” – and was voted by the fans as the Best Doctor in the long history of the show. Tennant’s many film roles include the forthcoming Fright Night and The Decoy Bride, as well as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, St. Trinian’s II: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold, Glorious 39, Bright Young Things, LA Without a Map, and Jude, among others. He also voiced a role in How to Train Your Dragon. His television work includes the BBC’s forthcoming “United” as well as “Hamlet,” “Einstein and Eddington,” “Learners,” “Recovery,” “Secret Smile,” “Casanova,” and “Blackpool,” among many others. In June, he will star in “Much Ado About Nothing” in the West End. Other theatre includes “Hamlet,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” for the Royal Shakespeare Company, “Look Back in Anger,” and “The Pillowman” at the Royal National Theatre.
IMELDA STAUNTON is an Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award nominee for her performance in the title role of Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake, which also earned her a BAFTA Award, among other honors. Her many film credits include Alice in Wonderland, Taking Woodstock, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Shakespeare in Love, Nanny McPhee, Much Ado About Nothing, Peter’s Friends, Twelfth Night, Freedom Writers,Crush, Bright Young Things, and Antonia and Jane. Her voice was heard in Chicken Run, and she is currently voicing a role in Aardman’s/Sony Pictures Animation’s Arthur Christmas, set for release this fall.
Her television credits include starring in the series “Up the Garden Path,” “Little Britain” (during the third season), and “Big and Small.” She was a member of the repertory cast of the television series “Thompson,” with Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, and Robbie Coltrane; and has starred in such notable miniseries and telefilms as “The Singing Detective” (written by Dennis Potter), “David Copperfield,” “The Wind in the Willows,” “Fingersmith,” and, most recently, “Cranford.” On stage, she has won two Olivier Awards, for Alan Ayckbourn’s National Theatre staging of his play “A Chorus of Disapproval,” and for Richard Jones’ staging of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods.” Ms Staunton was also an Olivier Award nominee for her performance in Richard Eyre’s Royal National Theatre staging of “Guys and Dolls.”
JEREMY PIVEN’s upcoming film projects include the ensemble thriller I Melt With You, the indie drama Drift, and Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World. Piven has received acting honors for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the slick, fast-talking super agent Ari Gold in the smash hit HBO original series “Entourage.” For his work on the show, Piven won three consecutive Emmy Awards and garnered six consecutive Golden Globe nominations, taking home the award in 2008. In addition, Piven has been honored by his peers with six Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, earning three for his individual performance on “Entourage” and three more as part of the series’ ensemble cast. In 2008, he made his Broadway debut in a revival of David Mamet’s play “Speed the Plow.” His many other film credits include Rocknrolla, The Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard Runaway Jury, Old School, Black Hawk Down, Serendipity, Rush Hour 2, The Family Man, Very Bad Things, The Kingdom, Singles, Smokin’ Aces, and The Player. On television, Piven was a series regular on “Cupid” and “Ellen” and appeared numerous times on “The Larry Sanders Show.” His credits also include the telefilm “Don King: Only in America.”
SALMA HAYEK received an Academy Award® nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, a SAG nomination, and a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress for the title role in Julie Taymor's Frida. She is currently filming Here Comes the Boom with Kevin James. Upcoming projects include Puss in Boots,Americano, and La Chispa de la Vida. Her film credits include Grown Ups, Ask the Dust, Bandidas, After the Sunset, Once Upon a Time in Mexico,Hotel, Timecode, Dogma, Fools Rush In, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Desperado. Hayek won an Emmy for her directorial debut, “The Maldonado Miracle,” which she also produced. She also served as the Executive Producer on ABC's award-winning program “Ugly Betty,” starring America Ferrera, based on the enormously successful Colombian series “Yo Soy Betty, La Fea.”
BRIAN BLESSED’s many film credits include roles in Trojan Women, Flash Gordon, Man of La Mancha, Return to Treasure Island, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Tarzan, Alexander, The Conclave, Day of Wrath, As You Like It, and Back in Business. On stage, he created the role of Old Deuteronomy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly successful musical “Cats,” for which he received a SWET nomination. He also starred in the West End musical “Metropolis.” While a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company he played roles in “Hamlet,” “Henry V,” and “Richard III.” At the Royal National Theatre he appeared in “State of Revolution” and “The Relapse.” He also played Henry II in “The Lion in Winter” and created the role of Baron Bomburst in the original cast of the hugely successful musical, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” His countless television roles include such productions as “I Claudius,” “Z Cars,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Little World of Don Camillo,” “My Family and Other Animals,” “Blackadder,” and “Tom Jones.”
BRENDAN GLEESON’s many credits include his starring role in The General, which gained him awards for Best Actor at the 1998 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, Best Actor at the 1999 ALFS (London Film Critics’ Circle Awards), and the Best Actor in a Male Role at the 1999 Irish Film and Television Awards. Gleeson also starred in Braveheart, Mission: Impossible II, AI: Artificial Intelligence, The Tailor of Panama, Country of My Skull,28 Days Later…, Gangs of New York, The Village, Cold Mountain, Kingdom of Heaven, Breakfast on Pluto, Troy, Black Irish, Studs, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One, The Tiger’s Tail, Beowulf, and In Bruges, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. His most recent work is The Raven with John Cusack and Albert Nobbs with Glenn Close. Gleeson also won the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the HBO movie “Into the Storm.” He most recently starred in Green Zone, The Guard, and Perrier’s Bounty.
RUSSELL TOVEY is best known for his work as George the werewolf on the BBC series “Being Human.” He also stars on the BBC series “Him and Her,” which will soon begin its second season. Tovey first came to international attention in the role of Rudge in the theatrical, radio, and film productions of The History Boys. His many television credits include guest-starring roles on “Gavin & Stacey” and “Doctor Who” as well as roles in “Little Dorrit” and “My Family and Other Animals,” among others. His theatrical credits include “A Miracle” at the Royal Court, “The Sea” at the Theatre Royal, “A Respectable Wedding” at the Young Vic, the title role of Tin Tin at the Barbican, and “His Dark Materials” at the National Theatre, among many others.
ASHLEY JENSEN’s breakout performance came as the loveable loser Maggie Jacobs on the BBC/HBO series, “Extras,” in which she stars opposite Ricky Gervais. For her work in “Extras,” she has received two British Comedy Awards (Best Actress, Best Newcomer), the Golden Rose of Montreaux award, Best Actress at the Monte Carlo International Television Festival, Glamour Magazine’s Comedy Woman of the Year award and she was nominated for a BAFTA and Emmy award. Other notable television work includes ABC hit drama “Ugly Betty” and the new CBS comedy series, “Accidentally on Purpose.”
Jensen’s film credits include Topsy Turvy for director Mike Leigh and Tristram Shandy, opposite Steve Coogan, for director Michael Winterbottom. She recently completed production on television drama “The Reckoning” and will next begin production opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal in new feature film Hysteria. Her voice may also be heard in Gnomeo and Juliet and in Aardman Animations’/Sony Pictures Animation’s Arthur Christmas.
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May 5, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST
I dont care
May 5, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST
by Grimmjow Jeagerjaques
More Aardman stuff in theaters is always a good thing. Hopefully this'll be better than Flushed Away. Be nice if we got a new Wallace & Grommit short in front of the movie as well.
May 5, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST
by professor murder
He still acts? OH WAIT! This is Ardman, I guess he wouldn't be on screen.....
May 5, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST
May 5, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST
Not that he's typecast, but you don't exactly get him to voice guard #2 in a pirate movie now do you?
May 5, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST
by Tom Fremgen
FUCK YEAH! I will so go see that movie- in 3D.
May 5, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST
May 5, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST
May 5, 2011, 3:47 p.m. CST
by Chris Harper
Then we're in for some serious greatness. Talk about wacked-out fun...Defoe's books are an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mess of hilarious awesomeness. No plots, no cohesion, no development of any kind. Just random goofiness. And with this cast? Can't wait...
May 5, 2011, 3:47 p.m. CST
That is all.
May 5, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST
by Raggles Wimpole
This made my day. Combine this with the news that Laika (who made Coraline) is going to be doing a stop-motion movie about zombies & add in Tim Burton's similarly animated 'Frankenweenie' and 2012 is going to be an amazing year for stop-motion animation.
May 5, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST
I saw that chicken movie and was less than impressed. I've flipped past the thing with the round-mouthed guy and the dog and thought it looked fucking stupid. Sorry but that's some Sesame Street bullshit.
May 5, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST
May 5, 2011, 4:24 p.m. CST
by Artemis Webb
Harry how could you tell Coraline was perfect 3D when it was too dark to see half the movie?
May 5, 2011, 4:25 p.m. CST
Oh come on Britons, you know it be true.
May 5, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST
This is great news. Aardman studios always deliver the goods.
May 5, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST
May 5, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST
Brian Blessed's performance in Flash Gordon is the stuff legends are made of. Guys is having the scenery for breakfast, lunch, dinner, second breakfast, supper, luncheon, afters, and dessert. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k61fyEBc_j8
May 5, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST
Pirates! in adventures with Scientists. If only for the possibility of the follow-up Pirates! in adventures with Communists
May 5, 2011, 5:38 p.m. CST
could be cool.
May 5, 2011, 5:39 p.m. CST
Liam Neeson has filmed a new scene for the Blu-Ray edition of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith. Frank Oz also involved.
May 5, 2011, 5:42 p.m. CST
by Andy Pandy
May 5, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST
Doesn't seem much room there for comedy, but what do I know.
May 5, 2011, 5:56 p.m. CST
by Grimmjow Jeagerjaques
I just read the part where it said he's going to be in this. Easily the best character in the UK version of Being Human. Him being in this makes me want to see it even more.
May 5, 2011, 6:14 p.m. CST
In much need for some Aardman goodness!!
May 5, 2011, 8:44 p.m. CST
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May 5, 2011, 9:22 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Dude's OLD, and I can't imagine Wallace with another voice.
May 6, 2011, 12:28 a.m. CST
Wasn't the reason Flushed Away was CGI was because they couldn't get the all the water realistic looking enough? Be interesting to see how they overcame that.
May 6, 2011, 1:17 a.m. CST
Last year wired UK did an article about the film, heres the link http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2010/12/features/aardman-morphs
May 6, 2011, 3:06 a.m. CST
by Liam Brazier
I pray it isn't but I know they were hiring a lot of CG animation positions for this a year or so ago.
May 6, 2011, 3:14 a.m. CST
I'm really happy that Aardman are continuing to make stop-motion features. After Flushed away and the upcoming Arthur christmas I was worried that they were never going to do any more model animated features. A new Wallace and Gromit feature would be very cool too.
May 6, 2011, 5:11 a.m. CST
...I would be more excited if this was coming from Henry Selick. A pirate adventure in the style of Nightmare Before Christmas would have been killer.
May 6, 2011, 8:26 a.m. CST
It's funny that as much as people here claim to love these films, there is never any mention of a single animator working on them. Never. Aardman films are probably the most meticulously handcrafted pieces of movie art on earth, and for the most part the artists behind them are unknown to the general public. AICN perpetuates that by focusing on the voice talent, who, unfortunately, will be paid many times more for their few days of work than the animators and craftsman that will toil away for up to two years on a project like this. Aardman uses many of the same animators from project to project. And since this level of stop motion is so demanding, many of those who work for them also worked on Coraline. Harry, you might want to mention them, by name. Just once. With out the model makers, armature builders and animators all you have is a radio show.
May 6, 2011, 9:14 a.m. CST
A picture, anyone? http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/may/06/aardman-animations-pirates-adventure
May 6, 2011, 6:13 p.m. CST
by david starling
.......The search for Davey Jones's crackers!! Haaaaar-HHHHAAAAAAAARRRR!!!!!!!?!
May 6, 2011, 6:16 p.m. CST
by david starling
Lego Wallace and Gromit, Pirates Edition? Now that would be good!!
May 7, 2011, 8:05 a.m. CST
...for all Docs. Maybe if Troughton has survived to the colour era, and his finest moments hadn't been erased, things might be different. I like Matt Smith but he's a little too young imo. My choice would have been Ken Stott. This looks like it might be a must see btw, like all Aardmann.
May 7, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST
by Mr Lucas
rise_of_fett, you are clearly no judge of quality animation, stick with Hanna Barbera. doctor_strangepork, WTF is "Veggie Tales"? Sounds like an idea someone on acid came up with. Hugh Grant = a one (dull) note 'actor' who should not have been heard from since "Lair Of The White Worm". He must laugh himself to sleep every night. Living proof that neither talent nor personality are not required for success in the 'biz'.
May 8, 2011, 8:30 a.m. CST
They had Hugh Jackman and decided for this one to go instead with Hugh Grant? Madness I tell you. Mind you, if it opened with a Wallace and Gromit short i'd be there opening night.
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